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Press Release | April 12, 2009

Maersk-Alabama captain rescued

By None , 5th Fleet Public Affairs - NAVCENT

Capt. Richard Phillips, right, stands with U.S. Navy Cmdr. Frank Castellano after Phillips' rescue Sunday.
Capt. Richard Phillips, right, stands with U.S. Navy Cmdr. Frank Castellano after Phillips’ rescue Sunday.

MANAMA, Bahrain - At approximately 7:19 p.m (12:19 p.m. EDT) U.S. naval forces rescued Capt. Richard Phillips, the master of Motor Vessel Maersk-Alabama. 

“This was an incredible team effort, and I am extremely proud of the tireless efforts of all the men and women who made this rescue possible” said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.  “The actions of Capt. Phillips and the civilian mariners of Maersk-Alabama were heroic.  They fought back to regain control of their ship, and Capt. Phillips selflessly put his life in the hands of these armed criminals in order to protect his crew.”

Following the rescue, Phillips was initially taken aboard the Norfolk, Va. based guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).  Phillips was subsequently flown to the San Diego based amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), where he contacted his family, received a routine medical evaluation, and is resting comfortably.

 U.S. military forces have one pirate in custody, three were killed in the rescue. 

A Pentagon press briefing with Navy Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, is planned for later today.  The Admiral will provide additional details regarding the rescue operation from his headquarters in Bahrain via satellite.  

The Office of the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs will post details regarding the briefing time at