Capt. Richard Phillips (53 years old) of Underhill, Vt. is an American captain who was held hostage by four Somali pirates. He made a desperate escape attempt on Friday April 10, 2009 but was recaptured. Phillips was seized after the pirates failed to hijack the Maersk Alabama, which was carrying food aid for hungry people in Somalia, Rwanda and Uganda; the attack to the Alabama happened about 280 miles southeast of Eyl, a port in the northern region of Somalia near the Hafun peninsula. Phillips was liberated by the Navy on April 12, 2009. Adm. William Gortney said Monday that it took only three shots for Navy snipers to kill the trio of pirates holding captain Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat drifting in the high sea... at the time snipers took their shot, Phillips' hands were bound. 
"He saved our lives!" second mate Ken Quinn, of Bradenton, Florida, declared from the ship deck (of the Alabama). "He's a hero." as Phillips sacrificed himself as a hostage to save his crew. 
This undated image made available in London, Wednesday April 8, 2009 by Maersk Line, shows the 17,000-ton container ship Maersk Alabama, when it was operating under the name Maersk Alva, which has been hijacked by Somalia pirates with 20 crew members aboard while sailing from Salalah in Oman to the Kenyan port of Mombassa via Djibouti.