NAIROBI, Kenya – FBI hostage negotiators joined U.S. Navy efforts Thursday to free an American ship captain held captive on a lifeboat by . A U.S. destroyer and a spy plane kept close watch in the high-seas standoff near the Horn of Africa.
The pirates took Capt. Richard Phillips hostage Wednesday after they hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama, then fled the cargo ship as the vessel's crew overpowered them. It was the first such attack on American sailors in about 200 years.
Kevin Speers, a spokesman for the Maersk ship company, said the pirates have made no demands yet to the company. He said the safe return of the captain is now its top priority.
The USS Bainbridge arrived near the Maersk Alabama and the lifeboat with the pirates, he said.