April 12, 2009 / 9:01 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX - Five facts about freed U.S. ship captain

(Reuters) - American ship captain Richard Phillips was rescued by the U.S. Navy on Sunday from the hands of Somali pirates who had held him hostage since trying to hijack his container vessel five days ago in the Indian Ocean.

Following are five facts about the merchant seaman:

* Phillips, aged 53, grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts, where his father coached high school basketball. He lives in Underhill, in rural Vermont.

* Married since 1987 to Andrea Coggio, an emergency room nurse he met in Boston. They have two college-age children, Mariah and Danny.

* Drove a cab in Boston to pay his way through college at the University of Massachusetts and later at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he graduated in 1979.

* Phillips played the saxophone in his high school band, and still plays the instrument from time to time. He listens to the blues. His favourite: blues singer Taj Mahal.

* Plays pickup basketball at the local YMCA, and golfs with a group of retirees. Supports Boston sports teams, particularly the Celtics basketball team.

Source: The New York Times.

Compiled by World Desk, Washington

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