Talk:Maersk Alabama hijacking

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In the news report I saw, it said that the three pirates were dispatched with head shots. Is this relevant and notable enough to be in the article? Swampfox1942 (talk) 01:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Removed battle infobox[edit]

I removed the infobox. Trying to identify this as a "battle" is absurd. I'm sure theres a more appropriate infobox out, if this article should even have one. -- Coasttocoast (talk) 21:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Union Training[edit]

The section on the anti-piracy training links to an author hearing it on Fox News and later a phone conversation. Do we have an actual Fox News or SIU (the union) source? I had tagged it for a reference, but reversed myself for now. The source seems highly biased as the title is "Another Miracle Brought to You By America's Unions (This Time With Pirates!)" --MartinezMD (talk) 17:19, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I was just about to comment on that. Even ignoring the dubious bias of the citation, the "Union Training" paragraph does not seem to fit into, nor does it add to, the article. The way the information is presented seems to suggest that "but for" the Union training of twelve of the sailors, the crew could not have repelled the pirate attack. There is, however, no news article, source or citation linking the 12 sailors' union training to the crew's actions. There is zero evidence that these twelve Union crew members used "small arms, anti-terror, basic safety, first aid" or any other Union taught skill to repel the pirates. Because of the dubious credibility of the citation coupled with a failure to tie the union training to the crew's actions, I am deleting the paragraph in quesiton. Estrbrook (talk) 23:38, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I support Estrbrook's removal. The paragraph as written read like an attempt to plump the union, rather than a neutral report of the facts, and the sourcing is currently dubious. If it later turns out that they did receive piracy training and make use of it, we can report that when better sources are available. Gavia immer (talk) 00:10, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I concur with Gavia immer Darrell_Greenwood (talk) 00:30, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The Union paragraph has reappeared and now sports one additional citation to a second pro-union blog. Even coming from a biased source, the second citation still fails to connect the ambiguous union "anti-terrorism" training with the actions of the crew. Did the Union teach them to stab the hands of terrorists with an ice pick? Or perhaps to grab a pirate as a hostage in order to attempt to trade that hostage for a pirate-held hostage? Unless we can get a quote from a crew member crediting union training for his actions in repelling the pirates, I don't see how a paragraph on union training adds to the article. Estrbrook (talk) 21:03, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Given the similarity of the text added here to the blog entry, I suspect it originated as a direct cut-and-paste, possibly filtered through the Mother Jones item. It still needs better sourcing, but I think we can assume that the crew did under go some conflict training. However, there are still problems with this item. In particular, it still reads as primarily promoting the union as the sole reason the pirates encountered resistance - but the blog item doesn't establish that the crew succeeded due to conflict training, or even that the union is the reason they received that training; it only says that they trained at a "union-affiliated" facility. Given that, the item as written still has serious POV problems. This is exacerbated by the fact that anonymous user(s) have tried to add union-related categories to the article that clearly don't belong here.
A further point: the paragraph added here copies the blog item's wording about "small arms" training - but small arms is a confusing term frequently misused by people unfamiliar with what it actually means. Because it can include firearms that are actually relatively large, people might understand it to mean anything from revolvers to the M1917, and this can be compounded by quotation without context. We shouldn't simply quote the term "small arms" without further clarification. Moreover, it's clear enough from context that the crew couldn't have relied much on this "small arms" training, since the reporting we have frequently mentions the prohibition on carrying firearms aboard merchant ships.
Basically, I support removing this material for now - until there's an independent source - and including it only in a clear and neutral form. I don't think there will prove to be any controversy over the crew's receiving training, but it needs sourcing - and the text that has actually been added continues to have POV problems. Gavia immer (talk) 22:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The paragraph, including the cites from Mother Jones and the pro-union blog, has reappeared. Being as this conversation was last edited in the year of the incident, the one responsible may have counted on no one really noticing. I was here because I finally got around to seeing Captain Phillips. As I am also pretty new to doing any editing of articles (I mostly put in my two cents on the "talk" pages), I'm leery of meddling. But since the consensus here seems to be that the inclusion involves POV (agree), if not outright union-pumping (also agree), I'm hoping a more seasoned editor will see fit to remove it again. Jororo05 (talk) 01:25, 17 May 2014 (UTC)


Oppose, the article about the hijacking is better off as a separate article. The article about the ship can cover the whole history of the ship - construction, 2004 detention, 2009 hijacking, future events and eventual scrapping. Mjroots (talk) 21:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

COmmenT - If these so-called future events do happen then the article is needed but for now, one is enough. See WP:Crystal. --23prootie (talk) 21:24, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Since the article is covering only one of several events [plenty to be more precise] and this one is "settled", a merge is not out of question and should be considered.--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 22:23, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Oppose there are many incidents that are not included within the article of ships. A similar incident where a small boat from a ship was captured,the 2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel has an article seperate from the HMS Cornwall (F99). Another example would be the USS Hartford and USS New Orleans collision. There were many vessels involved in the Maersk hijacking not simply the Maersk, i think that it would be misleading to leave the information not occuring on the freighter in this article. In addition there was a previous notable incident in 2004 involving the Alabama and additional history as stated above. XavierGreen (talk) 02:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC) Comment The future events are already starting to happen. This article is going to grow massivly in the future. XavierGreen (talk) 02:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Merge into Parent Article - Only 1 article is needed to tell the life history of the ship. Exit2DOS2000TC 19:13, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The 2004 detention information is interesting & notable but would not belong in the 2004 hijacking article. ~PescoSo saywe all 00:13, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
If it were an Article about the ship and its history, it would. I still believe the hijacking falls under WP:NOTNEWSExit2DOS2000TC 00:26, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Changed Infobox[edit]

I changed the info box to one like in 2008 Mumbai attacks, which more accurately represents terrorist/piracy events. WhaattuSpeakwhat iDone 21:38, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Since we don't have a "pirate info-box" the one you've chosen seems to be fine with me although I want to make clear that the incident is about piracy, NOT terrorism. Let's keep this in mind regarding future edits.--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 22:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
all other piratical incidents have used battle boxes, should not the precident be followed?XavierGreen (talk) 02:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I just copy-pasta from the Action of 9 April 2009 incident article, seeing that November 11, 2008 incident off Somalia, September 16, 2008 incident off Somalia, October 28, 2007 incident off Somalia, June 3, 2007 incident off Somalia, and Action of 18 March 2006 use the same box. Plus unless things changed within the 12 hours or so I was off Wikipedia, this was done by US Armed Forces, which automatically qualifies it as a Battle. We need to keep it uniform thru the entire subset of articles, and I think the battle box is appropriate. But I won't change it back until we get abit more discussion on the matter. But what we do need to do is get rid of the Maersk Alabama infobox. The other articles don't have their respective ship infoboxes, and as is it's making reading abit challenging with THREE infoboxes crowding the right side. (talk) 05:12, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
So, what, no reaction as to why the other incident pages have one particular infobox, and this one is "special" enough to warrant another infobox? We need uniformity. Either someone changes the other Incidents to this articles infobox, or this articles infobox needs to be rechanged back to be uniform to the other incident pages. (talk) 19:08, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Captain merger[edit]

A discussion resulting in redirect doesn't mean just copy that text and paste it in the target article, as was done here. That's really poor quality. I removed it from the article and putting it here so somebody can incorporate some (not all) of the information into the existing prose of the article. Grsz11 02:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Personal life

Captain Richard Phillips attended the University of Massachusetts in order to study international law. [1] However, he transferred to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and graduated in 1979.[2] Phillips worked as a taxi driver in Boston in order to pay for tuition in college.[3]

Phillips met his future wife, Andrea Coggio, an emergency room nurse, in Boston.[3] The couple married in 1987[3] and have two children, Mariah and Danny.[4] Phillips and his family reside in Underhill, Vermont.

In 2007, Phillips suffered a broken neck while diving for a football.[1] Doctors initially feared that he would become a quadriplegic due to his injuries.[1] However, he recovered and resumed skiing and snowboarding by the winter of 2008.[1]


According to BBC News, Phillips has been sailing for more than 20 years,[5] though sources close to Phillips have stated that he has been captaining cargo ships for more than thirty years.[6] Phillips has often captained large tankers or cargo ships.[1]

Phillips is an 1979 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.[7] The Daily News Tribune quoted the President of the Academy, Admiral Richard Gurnon about the effect Phillips would have on recruiting more potential students. In addition Gurnon said he and his staff had been flooded with requests for interviews.

He became captain of the MV Maersk Alabama in 2009.[1] He was employed by the A. P. Moller-Maersk Group as a captain at the time of the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009.

Captain Phillips' crew said they were able to escape because Phillips had offered himself to the pirates as a hostage [8] U.S. President Barack Obama said, "I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans." [9]

It was up to the person who did the merge to put the info in the article. That was not me. I was just correcting their omission. If you think it's sloppy, then fix it. Don't erase it. Grundle2600 (talk) 18:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
No one who argued that Richard Phillips (captain) should be merged and redirected here has made a good faith effort to actually perform this merge. This is damaging to the quality of this project. Geo Swan (talk) 17:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
The US House of Representatives passed a motion to honor Phillips. Geo Swan (talk) 17:30, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I really think that Captain Phillips deserves his own page. For more sinister reasons, Bligh has his own page.Nolween (talk) 18:15, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Book and media interviews[edit]

Phillips is now the author a book entitled "A Captain's duty". He was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on April 6, 2010. I presume this is just one of a number of interviews. I suggest this establishes independent notability, and the merger should be reversed. Geo Swan (talk) 04:29, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Now that he has written a best-selling book and has made numerous media appearances, nobody can argue that he is famous for only one thing.--Loonymonkey (talk) 23:25, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed - I heard him interviewed on NPR about his book. The other way to look at it is - if the book is notable, then its author is notable. Rklawton (talk) 21:19, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Abduhl Wal-i-Musi Merge[edit]

Oppose, since he will be brought to New York to be charged I expect there will be significant additions to his article that would not be appropriate for the hijacking article.Darrell_Greenwood (talk) 22:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Oppose I agree. Abduhl needs his own article. The trial and punishment should be covered separately from the kidnapping. Pustelnik (talk) 01:29, 18 April 2009 (UTC) Vandalism! Who deleted the article? Pustelnik (talk) 01:49, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Comment: I missed this discussion section somehow and have already BOLDly merged it. I don't think there's enough at the moment to justify a separate article, though that may change in the future. In the meantime, since I didn't notice this discussion, I certainly won't oppose anyone who chooses to unmerge it - but my opinion is that it should stay merged. Gavia immer (talk) 02:11, 18 April 2009 (UTC) Further comment: The separate article has been nominated for deletion (not by me); see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Abduhl Wal-i-Musi Gavia immer (talk) 19:18, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Vaguely written[edit]

I am sure I am not the first person to wonder about the transition between "The crew soon used "brute force" to retake control of the ship, and overpowered the leader of the pirates," immediately followed by, "The ship's captain, Richard Phillips, 53, surrendered himself to ensure his crew's safety." It seems odd that after overpowering the pirates and taking control of the ship, the captain surrendered. I would like to see this transition made more explicit, but unfortunately up to now I have not seen it explained any better in the newspapers. This morning I did see this, however:

Unable to sail the disabled ship, the pirates feigned surrender, and Capt. Richard Phillips helped them lower a rescue boat into the water. Its engine failed, and Rios and engineer John Cronan volunteered to bring the pirates a lifeboat.</ref>

The pirates didn't shoot - but they refused to let Phillips swim back to the rescue boat where Rios and Cronan were waiting, shouting, "No captain!" and "Three million dollars!" AtomAnt (talk) 13:23, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeah I am also curious as to how this exchange was made. My conception is that the pirates boarded, and the crew was hiding. The crew must have then been inclined to confront them. At that point the pirates probably held them at gun point. The pirates suspected other sailors, so they left a guard while they searched and kept the captain as a hostage. The guard was over powered by the sailors, and they locked themself in the room again. The pirates, return with the captain and threaten to shoot him unless they return the prisoner. They demand supplies and a lifeboat, and as they sit on it with the captain, the crew returns the pirate, but they sail off with the captain instead. This is what I'm inclined to believe happened, but I don't know - Neveos

More Sources/External Links[edit]

The article is appropriately brief, but should direct people who want further information to a more exhaustive article. Should the Crime Library article be added as an external link? It cites many sources as well, some overlapping with the sources cited by this article, some not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:31, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Chief Mate merger[edit]

Just as Richard Phillips (captain) has been merged into this article, Shane Murphy (captain) should be merged into it, too. There is less reliable reference information for Murphy than there is for Phillips. ~PescoSo saywe all 12:48, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Agree, Merge and redirect - his notability is only related to this hijacking and that material can be incorporated here. --Trödel 17:26, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

A Dead Reference Note Link[edit]

I do not know the protocol (if there is one) regarding dead links in reference notes. Perhaps most researchers will do as I have done by accessing the Internet Archives Wayback resource.

I will state here that the reference note today numbered 23-- specifically:

^ "Official: US sea captain faced imminent danger". Associated Press. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2009.[dead link]

can now be read from a 15 April 2009 copy at this address:

Robert B. Livingston (talk) 08:24, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I changed the url in the reference to the wayback url. Darrell_Greenwood (talk) 18:41, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you so much! Robert B. Livingston (talk) 04:33, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Referenced in popular culture[edit]

In the game "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" there is a mission depicting these events. Should this be added to the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Halyburton's involvement in the Rescue[edit]

Was the Halyburton actually involved in the rescue of Richard Phillips? His book, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, does not mention Halyburton once, although he does mention Banbridge, Boxer, and Arleigh Burke. Gentek16 (talk) 00:42, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


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