Maersk says Capt. Richard Phillips of Underhill will be reunited with his family Wednesday. Phillips and his crew are scheduled to land late Wednesday at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Phillips was held by pirates for five days in a life boat after his ship, the Maersk-Alabama, was attacked off the coast of Somalia. Navy SEALs rescued him Sunday. Phillips offered himself to the pirates to protect his crew.
The quarantined crew left the ship by bus and was taken to a hotel in Kenya. There they reportedly celebrated Phillips' release with some beer and a barbecue.
Now, shipping line Maersk says Phillips will meet up with his crew in Kenya Wednesday, and then they will all fly into Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland Wednesday night. There, they will be reunited with their families in a private reception room away from the media glare.
Meanwhile, signs of support and joy continue to pop up in Phillips' hometown.
The Underhill Country Store hung a large banner and is providing permanent markers; encouraging friends, neighbors, and even strangers to write messages on the sign as a show of support and appreciation for the rescued freight captain.
"What's difficult is there are a lot of people who don't know the Phillips personally, but because we live in a small town, you feel like you're family. And they want a way to express it," said Jennifer Silpe, who helped hang the banner. "I hope everyone in town signs it, and that everybody once again comes together in celebration of his safe return."
The team that created the banner hopes to present it to Richard Phillips when he returns to town.