U.S. military urged to protect ships

May 1, 2009 at 12:34 PM
1 of 3
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- The merchant ship captain who was held hostage by Somali pirates says it is time for the U.S. military to protect ships in the Indian Ocean.

Richard Phillips, who spent five days in captivity, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about his ordeal, The Hill reported Friday.

"The most desirable and appropriate solution to piracy is for the United States government to provide protection, through military escorts and/or military detachments aboard U.S. vessels," Phillips said.

He also suggested using methods to make ships more difficult to board as part of a comprehensive plan to combat an increasing number of pirate attacks.

Phillips said he thought the attack on his ship, the Maersk Alabama, could have been deterred if at least two highly trained Special Forces soldiers had been on board to defend it.

Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., suggested international convention could be amended to allow crew members to carry weapons.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea: Airport terminal is 'new face' of country
Compact cannon for British armored vehicles
Texas AG Ken Paxton facing first-degree felony fraud charges
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
Anonymous calls for #MillionPersonMarch on Independence Day