One of the most high-profile piracy incidents was the 2009 hijacking and kidnapping from the U.S.-flagged M/V Maersk Alabama container ship off the Somali coast. The ship's master, Captain Richard Phillips, was taken off the ship and held hostage in a lifeboat. U.S. Navy ships and assets present in the region responded to the incident.
Setting the Scene
Several U.S. and international units worked to rescue Captain Phillips and the M/V Maersk Alabama.
The region was very active in the spring of 2009. At least six pirate attacks occurred in the area during the week of the Maersk Alabama incident. Combined Task Force 151 and the U.S. Navy worked together to end the flurry of attacks and also encouraged merchant shipping companies to develop new means of self-defense.