Maersk Alabama hijacking

2009 piracy incident

The Maersk Alabama hijacking it was a hijacking of the Maersk Alabama sea ship in 2009. It was hijacked by four pirates in the Indian Ocean. It was 240 nautical miles (440 km; 280 mi) southeast of Eyl, Somalia. The four pirates soon took its captain, Richard Phillips, as hostage on the Maersk Alabama's lifeboat.

The lifeboat, in which Captain Phillips was held hostage, is taken to the USS Boxer.

The hijacking ended after a rescue effort by the U.S. Navy on 12 April 2009, by shooting three of the four pirates. The leader of the attack was in the USS Bainbridge looking for a ransom agreement. He was arrested on site.[1][2][3] The pirates wanted a ransom of 10 million dollars.[4] Only three people died (all were the hijackers) during the attack.

The book A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea (2010) by Stephan Talty and Captain Richard Phillips was published soon afterwards. The hijacking also inspired the 2013 movie Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks.

The leader of the attack, Abduwali Muse, is currently serving time in prison in Indiana.


  1. Sanders, Edmund; Barnes, Julian E. (9 April 2009). "Somalia pirates hold U.S. captain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  2. McShane, Larry (8 April 2009). "Americans take back cargo ship Maersk Alabama after it was hijacked by Somali pirates". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  3. Davis, William (2 May 2005). The pirates Laffite. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-15-100403-4. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  4. Porter, David (1875). Memoir of Commodore David Porter. p. 291.