Maersk Alabama And The Missing $30,000

With the recent attention from the movie “Captain Phillips”, new details have emerged surrounding the events of his rescue by Navy SEALs.

The story began when four armed Somali pirates scurried up the side of a large cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, and took the crew and Phillips hostage.  In a failed attempt to get the pirates to leave, Phillips gave them $30,000 from the ship safe.  The pirates eventually abandoned the Maersk, jumping into a lifeboat and taking the cash and Phillips at gunpoint.

The USS Bainbridge, responded to the hijacking, gave chase as the pirates headed toward the Somali coast.  Days later, a team of SEALs parachuted into the Indian Ocean and boarded the Bainbridge.  SEALs took up positions on the back of the warship and trained their sights on the three pirates.  After taking their shots, a rescue team boarded the lifeboat, secured the area, and rescued the Captain.

The $30,000 was never recovered.

Read more on this story courtesy of The Navy Times.

About the Author

Chris is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, 18-Delta Combat Medic, and SEAL Sniper. His career included tours with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two and SEAL Team Two in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. You can follow him on Twitter @Chris_Hagerman.

4 comments
TeufelshundeUSMC
TeufelshundeUSMC

Is it possible the $30,000 was spent in one night at Club Time Out in Dubai, on drinks and on hot Welsh and Ukranian professional womens?

JamVee
JamVee

For too many years, ship owners counted on "statistics" to get past Somalia.  Despite the gruesome toll of pirated ships, to say nothing of dead or imprisoned crew-members, they did very little (fire hose "cannons", etc.) to protect them.  Considering that both the ship and the cargo were heavily insured, they didn't seem averse to paying a few million to get their ships back.  I'm glad to see that, at least for the most part, that is no longer the case, and most ships today, are vigorously defended.  In those waters, small boats should not be allowed to come closer than 1/4 mile before "lighting them up"!

decktechonthe1047
decktechonthe1047

I would think the Maersk Line Lmtd. would consider the 30K money well spent.

The CEO should be busy trying to explain why the Maersk Alabama was 240 miles off the coast instead of the recommended 600 miles, to avoid the pirates.