Rescued US captain heads home from Kenya

April 17, 2009 06:26


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The US sea captain rescued by US Navy snipers left Kenya on an executive jet early Friday, the first step of a long-awaited journey home to America. His head bowed, 53-year-old Capt. Richard Phillips exited a gray four-wheel-drive vehicle shielded by several officials at the international airport in Mombasa, Kenya, and entered the terminal building. Wearing blue overalls and a baseball cap, the bearded American skipper did not talk to journalists. He then boarded a plane that was waiting on the tarmac, a light blue executive jet with the name of his company's shipping line, Maersk, which took off minutes later. Phillips had been held by pirates for five days on an enclosed and drifting lifeboat in the Indian Ocean until he was freed Sunday by Navy SEAL sharpshooters. They killed his three captors with three shots taken from the a warship during a nighttime assault. After the ordeal, the skipper was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, which docked in Mombasa on Thursday, a day later than planned because it had to answer a distress call from another US cargo ship attacked by pirates.

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