U.S. ship's captain freed from pirates

The family of Captain Richard Phillips, who was kidnapped by Somali pirates this week, can rejoice this Easter as the captain has been rescued.

After being held captive by pirates for five days, Phillips was freed by Navy SEALs who killed three Somali pirates in a swift gunfight before arresting the fourth.

A Pentagon spokesperson says Phillips leapt from the lifeboat immediately before SEALs opened fire on the captors.

Phillips, meanwhile, is being hailed a hero for willingly leaving the ship in a lifeboat with the pirates on April 8 in order to protect his 22-man crew.

U.S. Navy officials say President Obama approved the operation. The Justice Department is now reviewing evidence and considering filing criminal charges against the captured pirate, who could face life in prison.

Phillips remains onboard a Navy ship and is in good health.

In the wake of the kidnapping, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promises to push for ratification of a U.N. treaty that would allow countries to hold pirates accountable for their crimes.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."