Mersk Alabama Mapped - Location Of Pirate Attack By the WSJ

gCaptain called the Maersk Alabama at 1800 UTC and talked with the mate on watch. He answered “We are still in an emergency situation and can not talk at this moment.”

The Maersk Alabama’s Chief Mate is the son of the famous Mass Maritime professor Joe Murphy, author of the popular maritime license study guides know in the industry as “The Murphy Books“.

UPDATE an interview with Capt Joe has been posted HERE. Notes from the interview:

  • She is an unarmed merchant ship on a commercial run.
  • Out ran pirates for 3 to 5 hours
  • Substantial gun fire involved.
  • The vessel was also attacked on Monday.
  • Maersk is handling the situation out of their emergency operations office in Norfolk Virginia.
  • We will be updating this post as new information is available.
  • Capt Murphy (father of the Chief Mate) is an expert in Maritime Security and teaches the class at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
  • Level of violence and number of attacks are rapidly increasing.

The vessel is  crewed by Master Mates & Pilots and the Seafarers International Unions. The crew has undergone training at MITAGS which would explain their ability to retake the vessel. Our friends at The Maritime Executive talked with MITAGS which declined to comment saying that security training of the crew is administered at the Military Sealift Command’s training facilities.

UPDATE: Most of crew free, but Captain still held hostage:

The American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged ship retook control of the vessel from Somali pirates Wednesday but the captain was still being held hostage, according to Pentagon officials and a member of the crew.

The crew member told The Associated Press that the 20-member crew had managed to seize one pirate and then successfully negotiate their own release.

The man, who picked up the ship’s satellite phone but did not identify himself, told the AP in a brief conversation that the crew had retaken control of the ship and the pirates were in a lifeboat. But the man also said that they were holding the ship’s captain hostage.

This report (via Eaglespeak) of the Captain is unconfirmed by gCaptain but would explain our recent call with the vessel.

UPDATE: New Video from Captain Joe Murphy:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrrKbtVnsK0[/youtube]

2/m holds phone interview with CNN:

Ken Quinn told CNN in a live interview after the cable news network called the boat. “We had one of their hostages, we had a pirate. We took him for 12 hours. We tied him up. We returned him. But they didn’t return the captain,” Quinn said. The captain was on a lifeboat with the pirates, Quinn said. “Right now we are trying to offer them whatever we can, food. It’s not working too good,” Quinn said. He said the crew was communicating with the captain by radio.

We will be updating this post as new information is available.

Maersk Alabama – Vessel Information

  • IMO number : 9164263
  • Name of ship : MAERSK ALABAMA
  • Call Sign : WDB9985
  • Gross tonnage : 14120
  • Type of ship : Container Ship
  • Year of build : 1998
  • Flag : U.S.A.
  • Status of ship : In Service
  • Last update : 2006-11-20
  • Classification: American Bureau of Shipping
  • Insurer: Standard P&I Club per Charles Taylor & Co

Vessel History:

  • MAERSK ALABAMA Date Of Record: 2004-11-30 Flag: USA
  • ALVA MAERSK Date Of Record: 2000-05-12 Flag: Denmark

Links:

That is all the news for today. We will be sure to call the vessel again, but only once we know the situation is stable. Stay tuned

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/themaritime themaritime

    I would caution against anyone calling the ship directly, as it may interfere with the ship communicating with the Navy and other authorities. The ship may be expecting a call from military officials or company representatives that are extremely urgent in nature. Maersk is providing a good amount of information to the press from the situation room at the Maersk Line office in Norfolk.
    From Maersk:
    Please contact Maersk Line Limited for further press inquiries:

    Maersk Line Limited (switchboard): + 1 757 857 4800

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/themaritime themaritime

    I would caution against anyone calling the ship directly, as it may interfere with the ship communicating with the Navy and other authorities. The ship may be expecting a call from military officials or company representatives that are extremely urgent in nature. Maersk is providing a good amount of information to the press from the situation room at the Maersk Line office in Norfolk.
    From Maersk:
    Please contact Maersk Line Limited for further press inquiries:

    Maersk Line Limited (switchboard): + 1 757 857 4800

  • http://www.megayachtnews.org/ Diane M. Byrne

    The ship's owner appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch program today:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1086742749&…

  • http://www.megayachtnews.org Diane M. Byrne

    The ship's owner appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch program today:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1086742749&

  • cak212

    Why is Michelle so aggressive? She is being so rude to the owner and really doesn't understand what she is talking about.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

      After his comment about her being in an air-conditioned office, we don't hear from Michelle again. May have a/c, but she was steaming/

    • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

      After his comment about her being in an air-conditioned office, we don't hear from Michelle again. May have a/c, but she was steaming.

  • cak212

    Why is Michelle so aggressive? She is being so rude to the owner and really doesn't understand what she is talking about.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

      After his comment about her being in an air-conditioned office, we don't hear from Michelle again. May have a/c, but she was steaming/

    • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

      After his comment about her being in an air-conditioned office, we don't hear from Michelle again. May have a/c, but she was steaming.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jetcal1 jetcal1

    Time to bring back the Q ships.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jetcal1 jetcal1

    Time to bring back the Q ships.

  • Capt Mike

    I must say John, you hit the nail on the head last week. Every one else, including themaritime, seems to have 20/20 hindsight.

    http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/pirates-find-su

  • Capt Mike

    I must say John, you hit the nail on the head last week. Every one else, including themaritime, seems to have 20/20 hindsight.

    http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/pirates-find-su

  • http://friendfeed.com/boatingrob Rob

    Thanks for this post. I've been away from the computer all day and needed a good recap of what's been going on. What I don't understand is how the captain ended up in a lifeboat if the crew overtook the pirates. I guess once the crew began their demands one of them took the captain to the lifeboat?

  • http://friendfeed.com/boatingrob Rob

    Thanks for this post. I've been away from the computer all day and needed a good recap of what's been going on. What I don't understand is how the captain ended up in a lifeboat if the crew overtook the pirates. I guess once the crew began their demands one of them took the captain to the lifeboat?

  • http://www.christiaanconover.com/ Christiaan Conover

    Very unfortunate situation. Capt. Murphy was very busy today, fielding questions from the media. His office is within feet of many of my classes, so there was a lot of commotion during class today. Hopefully everyhing ends well for the crew, and for the Murphy family.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/cconover Christiaan Conover

    Very unfortunate situation. Capt. Murphy was very busy today, fielding questions from the media. His office is within feet of many of my classes, so there was a lot of commotion during class today. Hopefully everyhing ends well for the crew, and for the Murphy family.

  • kim

    perhaps you should remind Capt Murphy that "loose lips sink ships" . He has totally blown operational security for the vessel and its crew. He has undermined the ship's home office by releasing details to the media. Also, by informing the media that the Maersk Alabama is now enroute to Momasa, he has created a force protection issue for the ship when it arrives in port as well as for those arriving from elsewhere to take care of the ship. I would have thought that someone with his years of experience would have a bit more restraint and not look so readily to capitalize on this unfortunate incident.

  • kim

    perhaps you should remind Capt Murphy that "loose lips sink ships" . He has totally blown operational security for the vessel and its crew. He has undermined the ship's home office by releasing details to the media. Also, by informing the media that the Maersk Alabama is now enroute to Momasa, he has created a force protection issue for the ship when it arrives in port as well as for those arriving from elsewhere to take care of the ship. I would have thought that someone with his years of experience would have a bit more restraint and not look so readily to capitalize on this unfortunate incident.

  • http://www.christiaanconover.com/ Christiaan Conover

    Valid point, I hadn't considered that. Hopefully Capt. Murphy & Maersk are in agreement on disclosure, though as you said, the information that has been shared definitely creates a security hazard.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/cconover Christiaan Conover

    Valid point, I hadn't considered that. Hopefully Capt. Murphy & Maersk are in agreement on disclosure, though as you said, the information that has been shared definitely creates a security hazard.

  • WILLSLAPASAMALIA

    WHEN IS THE USA GOING TO PULL UP ITS PANTIES AND GROW A SET. SEND IN THE NAVY SEALS, WITH ORDERS TO GET THIS GUY BACK AND WE DON'T CARE WHAT YOU DO WITH THE PIRATES. WHERE IS OUR PRESIDENT? THIS GUY SHOULD BE IMPEACHED. GET THE JOINT CHIEFS, TELL THEM I WANT THIS GUY BACK TODAY, PERIOD, NOW GET IT DONE, WHATEVER IT TAKES. THEN START SHELLING THE PIRATES ON THE BEACH AND TEACH THEM A LESSON. AMERICA WASN'T MADE FREE, IT EARNED ITS FREEDOM, IT DIDN'T BUY IT. THROW OUT THE TRASH, ELECT SOMEONE WHO WILL STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, NOT TELL US TO TOLERATE WHAT IS WRONG AND ACCEPT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING.

  • WILLSLAPASAMALIA

    WHEN IS THE USA GOING TO PULL UP ITS PANTIES AND GROW A SET. SEND IN THE NAVY SEALS, WITH ORDERS TO GET THIS GUY BACK AND WE DON'T CARE WHAT YOU DO WITH THE PIRATES. WHERE IS OUR PRESIDENT? THIS GUY SHOULD BE IMPEACHED. GET THE JOINT CHIEFS, TELL THEM I WANT THIS GUY BACK TODAY, PERIOD, NOW GET IT DONE, WHATEVER IT TAKES. THEN START SHELLING THE PIRATES ON THE BEACH AND TEACH THEM A LESSON. AMERICA WASN'T MADE FREE, IT EARNED ITS FREEDOM, IT DIDN'T BUY IT. THROW OUT THE TRASH, ELECT SOMEONE WHO WILL STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, NOT TELL US TO TOLERATE WHAT IS WRONG AND ACCEPT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING.

  • Sul

    WILLSLAPASAMALIA · I totally agree, we are the USA and have the best Military in the world and these pirates are making us look like trash. Send them in and show them who we are!!!! Dont mess with the US. We need to wipe them out

  • Sul

    WILLSLAPASAMALIA · I totally agree, we are the USA and have the best Military in the world and these pirates are making us look like trash. Send them in and show them who we are!!!! Dont mess with the US. We need to wipe them out

  • Sul

    Sorry to affend people that dont agree with us.. But get it done!!!!

  • Sul

    Sorry to affend people that dont agree with us.. But get it done!!!!

  • http://www.maritimeaccident.org/ Bob Couttie

    An interesting point is that the crew were able to retake the vessel without using guns, a point overlooked in the growing enthusiasm to arm ships in the wake of this incident. Training counts more. We all pray that the captain is safely released.

    It has, at least, woken up America and although there is the usual 'shot 'em all' response it might encourage a bit more positive activity.

  • http://www.maritimeaccident.org Bob Couttie

    An interesting point is that the crew were able to retake the vessel without using guns, a point overlooked in the growing enthusiasm to arm ships in the wake of this incident. Training counts more. We all pray that the captain is safely released.

    It has, at least, woken up America and although there is the usual 'shot 'em all' response it might encourage a bit more positive activity.

  • allen81

    Wow. What an ignorant post WILLSLAPASAMALIA and Sul.

    We need international political will to end Somali pirating–this will require both patrol and enforcement, sufficient training of maritime crews, and dealing with the lawlessness that has over taken the failed state of Somalia by helping to support the establishment of a democratic government. Obviously, the last one in particular is not an easy task.

    ps. Sul, it's "spelled offend," although yes, it does sound like "affend" when you say it

  • allen81

    Wow. What an ignorant post WILLSLAPASAMALIA and Sul.

    We need international political will to end Somali pirating–this will require both patrol and enforcement, sufficient training of maritime crews, and dealing with the lawlessness that has over taken the failed state of Somalia by helping to support the establishment of a democratic government. Obviously, the last one in particular is not an easy task.

    ps. Sul, it's "spelled offend," although yes, it does sound like "affend" when you say it

  • Sul

    wow allen wow…dont you have a life. typed fast..get over it.

  • Sul

    wow allen wow…dont you have a life. typed fast..get over it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rich_from_PA Rich_from_PA

    Allen,

    "by helping to support the establishment of a democratic government". Were you aware of the UN humanitarian effort puling out in 1995 due to the UN losing too many lives? Did you read of the actual accounts of the Blackhawk Down movie? We can not afford to establish a working government at this time. Nor do I want my tax dollars in doing so. Harsh? Yes but it is a reality that I am sure many fellow fed-up citizens agree with.
    It appears that if we catch them so to speak, our government is unsure of how to handle them as they do not fall into our law.
    We need to show why we are the superpower. We need to spread the word to Somalia. Let it be known that all pirates will be shot on site, no questions asked, no diplomacy.
    "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rich_from_PA Rich_from_PA

    Allen,

    "by helping to support the establishment of a democratic government". Were you aware of the UN humanitarian effort puling out in 1995 due to the UN losing too many lives? Did you read of the actual accounts of the Blackhawk Down movie? We can not afford to establish a working government at this time. Nor do I want my tax dollars in doing so. Harsh? Yes but it is a reality that I am sure many fellow fed-up citizens agree with.
    It appears that if we catch them so to speak, our government is unsure of how to handle them as they do not fall into our law.
    We need to show why we are the superpower. We need to spread the word to Somalia. Let it be known that all pirates will be shot on site, no questions asked, no diplomacy.
    "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli."

  • allen81

    Rich_from_PA,

    Point taken about previous efforts in Somalia. It still ought to be an international effort. I would never suggest that the US nation build in Somalia.

    As to the "not sure what do do with them" problem, again, this is a matter of establishing international maritime law, which has begun to a degree, but not enough has been done.

    As you suggest, it should definitely bother us when US citizens are victims of piracy. But it shouldn't ONLY bother us when it is US citizens that are victims. This is the implicit reading of "show them why we are the superpower," unless you are suggesting that the US manage all maritime policing and hostage negotiations despite the country involved. Otherwise, this does not solve the problem. "No diplomacy" in part, I take it, means no ransoms paid. I agree that if there were no chance of ransom payment (a "we don't negotiate with terrorists" type of policy) it might help to drive down some of the incentive. If it were your family that was held captive, I bet you would feel differently.

    As for "let it be known that all pirates will be shot of sight." I wish it were so. However, many mariners have argued strongly against arming their cargo ships (which may mean an escalation in arms by pirates."

    The bottom line is that this is not a simple issue, and it needs international will, laws, punishment, and a true investment in helping in Somalia, something this incident will hopefully generate. Let's hope it stays on the American poeple's radar (so to speak) long enough to effect some change before we're off to worrying about which celebrity is dating which.

  • allen81

    Rich_from_PA,

    Point taken about previous efforts in Somalia. It still ought to be an international effort. I would never suggest that the US nation build in Somalia.

    As to the "not sure what do do with them" problem, again, this is a matter of establishing international maritime law, which has begun to a degree, but not enough has been done.

    As you suggest, it should definitely bother us when US citizens are victims of piracy. But it shouldn't ONLY bother us when it is US citizens that are victims. This is the implicit reading of "show them why we are the superpower," unless you are suggesting that the US manage all maritime policing and hostage negotiations despite the country involved. Otherwise, this does not solve the problem. "No diplomacy" in part, I take it, means no ransoms paid. I agree that if there were no chance of ransom payment (a "we don't negotiate with terrorists" type of policy) it might help to drive down some of the incentive. If it were your family that was held captive, I bet you would feel differently.

    As for "let it be known that all pirates will be shot of sight." I wish it were so. However, many mariners have argued strongly against arming their cargo ships (which may mean an escalation in arms by pirates."

    The bottom line is that this is not a simple issue, and it needs international will, laws, punishment, and a true investment in helping in Somalia, something this incident will hopefully generate. Let's hope it stays on the American poeple's radar (so to speak) long enough to effect some change before we're off to worrying about which celebrity is dating which.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rich_from_PA Rich_from_PA

    Allen,

    Firstly, thank you for the reply. In regards to establishing maritime law and making it an international effort, I do agree. From watching something on the news just now, something disturbs me. According to this alleged expert, in regards to maritime law and the different laws of the sending and receiving companies of the vessels, guns are not permitted to be stored on these ships with traditional sailors that work on the ship. Sounds like a gun control debate here in the U.S.

    I agree that it should bother us and it is a problem even at times where a U.S. hostage is not involved. In times of today's U.N., we could be talking about it for the next year without any action. You must admit, though I am not sure of the reaction of foreign hostages and their home countries, citizens of the U.S. band together in such a remarkable way for people they do not know in times like these. Many are glued to their TV's, praying or involved by adding their 2 cents on the matter in hopes of creating a spark for others or promoting change on issues, such as ourselves.
    By being shot, I meant by the U.S. Military patrolling the waters.
    After reading a bit more after I posted previous, there is a democratic government of some sort in the northern part of the country. Investment in Somalia, as you said, is vital to the stop of piracy. I just don't think we can afford to be "that" involved yet. Regardless, a true plan needs to be developed to end it once and for all but for now we need to get tough on the subject to temporarily try to defuse or deter the current piracy that is going on. Just hope that more people watch his rescue other than watching Dancing With The Stars. Those eating dinner tomorrow for Easter should be reminded of the conditions that he has endured the past four days and the family that does not have him sitting at the table, especially for a selfless act that saved many.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rich_from_PA Rich_from_PA

    Allen,

    Firstly, thank you for the reply. In regards to establishing maritime law and making it an international effort, I do agree. From watching something on the news just now, something disturbs me. According to this alleged expert, in regards to maritime law and the different laws of the sending and receiving companies of the vessels, guns are not permitted to be stored on these ships with traditional sailors that work on the ship. Sounds like a gun control debate here in the U.S.

    I agree that it should bother us and it is a problem even at times where a U.S. hostage is not involved. In times of today's U.N., we could be talking about it for the next year without any action. You must admit, though I am not sure of the reaction of foreign hostages and their home countries, citizens of the U.S. band together in such a remarkable way for people they do not know in times like these. Many are glued to their TV's, praying or involved by adding their 2 cents on the matter in hopes of creating a spark for others or promoting change on issues, such as ourselves.
    By being shot, I meant by the U.S. Military patrolling the waters.
    After reading a bit more after I posted previous, there is a democratic government of some sort in the northern part of the country. Investment in Somalia, as you said, is vital to the stop of piracy. I just don't think we can afford to be "that" involved yet. Regardless, a true plan needs to be developed to end it once and for all but for now we need to get tough on the subject to temporarily try to defuse or deter the current piracy that is going on. Just hope that more people watch his rescue other than watching Dancing With The Stars. Those eating dinner tomorrow for Easter should be reminded of the conditions that he has endured the past four days and the family that does not have him sitting at the table, especially for a selfless act that saved many.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

    Crew to be recommended for hostage exchange training.
    They got gypped.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

    Crew to be recommended for hostage exchange training.
    They got gypped.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

    There was a CNN report with a crewmember talking from the ship to the reporteress as events were unfolding. The media turns everyone into a harlot.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/landlubber landlubber

    There was a CNN report with a crewmember talking from the ship to the reporteress as events were unfolding. The media turns everyone into a harlot.

  • neptune 1 USN [Ret]

    i dont want to get into a pissing contest with a bunch of politicos, but the idea of fighting pirates with water hoses is total BBBBBBSSSSSS!!!!!!! armed crew members or security forces that shoot to kill will work. preferably with M 60's or bigger on the upper top decks. fight it out………__ this is total nonsense! these skank shipping companys want crew members to protect billions of dollars of their ship and cargo with water hoses…..god bless that capt , i dont know if hes a hero or crazy. iam not impressed with the physical condition of the rest of the crew either. a 20 man crew isnt even a damage control/fire party on a US Warship. lock your self in an engine room? huh? and burn up as they set your ship ablaze ……stupid……..sounds like what a bunch of split-tails would do.____ this whole idea is disgracefull and iam glad i was part of an outfit that would protect ourselves.__ all pirates all over the world should be killed.

    • not retired — yet

      <<iam not impressed with the physical condition of the rest of the crew either. a 20 man crew isnt even a damage control/fire party on a US Warship.>>

      neptune 1, maybe you need to remember that this is NOT a warship with hundreds of excess personnel for such "extremis" situations, but a merchant vessel — a US flag merchant vessel which is lucky to have enough watchstanders to run at all, let alone fight off armed bandits. Between MARAD and the USCG agreeing to crew reduction after reduction these ships are skeleton-crewed at best! You can thank the maritime unions for maintaining the manning that we have on board now. When's the last time you saw 3 or 4 OS's on a ship? Day men? Carpenter? Wipers and electricians? I won't even talk about the steward's dept.

  • neptune 1 USN [Ret]

    i dont want to get into a pissing contest with a bunch of politicos, but the idea of fighting pirates with water hoses is total BBBBBBSSSSSS!!!!!!! armed crew members or security forces that shoot to kill will work. preferably with M 60's or bigger on the upper top decks. fight it out………__ this is total nonsense! these skank shipping companys want crew members to protect billions of dollars of their ship and cargo with water hoses…..god bless that capt , i dont know if hes a hero or crazy. iam not impressed with the physical condition of the rest of the crew either. a 20 man crew isnt even a damage control/fire party on a US Warship. lock your self in an engine room? huh? and burn up as they set your ship ablaze ……stupid……..sounds like what a bunch of split-tails would do.____ this whole idea is disgracefull and iam glad i was part of an outfit that would protect ourselves.__ all pirates all over the world should be killed.

    • not retired — yet

      <<iam not impressed with the physical condition of the rest of the crew either. a 20 man crew isnt even a damage control/fire party on a US Warship.>>

      neptune 1, maybe you need to remember that this is NOT a warship with hundreds of excess personnel for such "extremis" situations, but a merchant vessel — a US flag merchant vessel which is lucky to have enough watchstanders to run at all, let alone fight off armed bandits. Between MARAD and the USCG agreeing to crew reduction after reduction these ships are skeleton-crewed at best! You can thank the maritime unions for maintaining the manning that we have on board now. When's the last time you saw 3 or 4 OS's on a ship? Day men? Carpenter? Wipers and electricians? I won't even talk about the steward's dept.

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