Pirates said to recapture U.S. captain after escape bid
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The American ship captain held hostage by pirates on a lifeboat off Somalia tried to escape by jumping into the sea, but was quickly recaptured, U.S. media reported on Friday.
Citing defence sources, CBS News and CNN said Captain Richard Phillips, who is being held on a lifeboat adrift in the Indian Ocean, had jumped overboard, but was captured, within view of a U.S. warship.
CNN said that U.S. officials believe Phillips was unhurt in the escape attempt.
Four pirates have been holding Phillips since a foiled bid to hijack his cargo ship, the 17,000-tonne Maersk Alabama, several hundred miles off Somalia.
Phillips apparently volunteered to get in the lifeboat with the pirates to act as a hostage to secure the safety of the Alabama's 20 American crew members, who managed to retake control of their ship.
The freighter, which is carrying food aid for Uganda and Somalia, is now on its way to Kenya, its original destination.
The USS Bainbridge is close to the lifeboat and has called on the FBI and other U.S. officials to help negotiate with the pirates.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle, editing by Eric Beech)
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