Quantcast

Pirates Capture Vermont Captain - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Pirates Capture Vermont Captain

Featured Videos

Capt. Richard Phillips Capt. Richard Phillips
Andrea Phillips Andrea Phillips

Underhill, Vermont - April 8, 2009

A Vermont man is being held hostage by Somali pirates. Underhill resident, Richard Phillips, is the captain of a shipping vessel that was on its way to Africa with food and other aid when the pirates attacked.

Phillips knows the risks of being at sea off the coast of Africa. He has been sailing the waters for more than 20 years and even warned his wife, Andrea, that pirate activity was high this week.

"You always hope never me," she said during an interview at her Underhill home Wednesday afternoon.

Four Somali pirates attacked Phillips's ship, the Maersk Alabama, about 300 miles off the coast of Somali. Crew members regained control of their ship, but the pirates took off with Captain Phillips in the ship's 28' lifeboat.

"At this time we are trying to recover a crew member from the lifeboat," said the ship's Third Mate, Colin Wright, during a phone interview from the ship. "The Somali pirates have one of our crew members on our lifeboat and we are trying to recover that crew member."

Crew members report that Captain Phillips turned himself over to the pirates. His wife spoke with WCAX before she knew he was being held hostage, but was confident in he could handle a dangerous situation.

"I have faith in my husband," she said. I know he'll do well with the crew. He'll do well to keep everybody safe and himself safe. You know he's a smart man and I know he'll be alright."

According to the Pentagon the other crew members have control of their ship and appear to be safe. Captain Shane Murphy, the second in command on the ship, called his wife in Massachusetts, Wednesday morning.

"I asked if he was safe and he said 'almost'," Serena Murphy told reporters.

The U.S. Navy dispatched its war ship the USS Bainbridge to the area and it arrived on scene Wednesday evening. A spokesperson for Maersk says the lifeboat with the pirates and Captain Phillips is floating near the ship and officials are waiting for sun-up before deciding what to do next.

The Alabama was sailing under a U.S. flag when it was attacked. It is the first American ship to be taken hostage by pirates in more than 200 years, but the sixth ship to be taken hostage in the area in the last week. It is believed that 300 people are currently being held hostage by African pirates who demand cash ransoms.

Bianca Slota - WCAX News

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Did you feel it? Minor earthquake reported in Vt.

    Did you feel it? Minor earthquake reported in Vt.

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:38:13 GMT
    A minor earthquake was reported in Vermont early Friday, just across the New Hampshire line.
    A minor earthquake was reported in Vermont early Friday, just across the New Hampshire line.
  • New York woman dies after 2 SUVs collide

    New York woman dies after 2 SUVs collide

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:46:12 GMT
    Police say a western New York woman has died after the vehicle she was riding in was involved in a collision on an Adirondack road.
    Police say a western New York woman has died after the vehicle she was riding in was involved in a collision on an Adirondack road.
  • Man injured on rope swing at Dorset quarry

    Man injured on rope swing at Dorset quarry

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:22:43 GMT
    Police say a Vermont man suffered a head injury while trying to use a rope swing to jump from a quarry into some water.
    Police say a Vermont man suffered a head injury while trying to use a rope swing to jump from a quarry into some water.
  • Accolades pour in for late Vermont law professor

    Accolades pour in for late Vermont law professor

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:00:13 GMT
    Cheryl Hanna is being remembered as a favorite teacher at Vermont Law School and an inspiration to many in Vermont's legal community.
    Cheryl Hanna is being remembered as a favorite teacher at Vermont Law School and an inspiration to many in Vermont's legal community.
  • Gov. Shumlin 'relieved' by Congress's highway plan

    Gov. Shumlin 'relieved' by Congress's highway plan

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:12:56 GMT
    Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's relieved that Congress has provided a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund that will keep dozens of road construction projects in the state on-track.
    Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's relieved that Congress has provided a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund that will keep dozens of road construction projects in the state on-track.
  • FairPoint contract expires this weekend

    FairPoint contract expires this weekend

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:56:19 GMT
    FairPoint Communications and unions representing 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are up against a weekend deadline in their ongoing contract negotiations.
    FairPoint Communications and unions representing 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are up against a weekend deadline in their ongoing contract negotiations.
  • New NH law will ban hand-held devices while driving

    New NH law will ban hand-held devices while driving

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:53:48 GMT
    Motorists travelling through New Hampshire are seeing electronic highway signs warning them about distracted driving - the first messages in what will eventually become a full-blown public awareness campaign about...
    Motorists traveling through New Hampshire are seeing electronic highway signs warning them about distracted driving - the first messages in what will eventually become a full-blown public awareness campaign about a law that will ban the use of all hand-held electronic devices while driving.
  • Hassan signs pre-buy fuel contracts bill

    Hassan signs pre-buy fuel contracts bill

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:49:19 GMT
    New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a measure that changes when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.
    New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a measure that changes when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.