Pirates Recapture U.S. Hostage

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The American captain held hostage by Somali pirates since Tuesday made a desperate attempt to escape after two days in custody, but was recaptured.

Pirates caught Capt. Richard Phillips as he tried to swim to his freedom around midnight local time, Friday. Now, the Somalis are demanding a ransom and say they are ready to kill Phillips if they are attacked by officials.

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus said more warships were en route to the horn of Africa to help deal with the situation. Phillips and the four pirates are drifting without power on a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia.

Click play for more on the situation with CBN News Washington Correspondent John Jessup.

"We want to ensure that we have all the capability that might be needed over the course of the coming days," Patraeus said.

FBI negotiators have been talking with the pirates and the captain of the USS Bainbridge which is also on the scene, but little progress has been made.

Andrea Phillips, the wife of Capt. Richard Phillips, released the following statement Friday afternoon:

"My family and I would like to thank our neighbors, our community, and the nation for the outpouring of support. We have felt the compassion of the world through your concern for Richard.  My husband is a strong man and we will remain strong for him. We ask that you do the same."

Mohamed Samaw, a resident of the pirate stronghold in Eyl, Somalia, says four foreign vessels hijacked by pirates are heading toward the lifeboat to assist the captors holding Phillips.

"The pirates have summoned assistance - skiffs and mother ships are heading towards the area from the coast," said a Nairobi-based diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "We knew they were gathering yesterday."

It's believed that 54 hostages from various countries are on two of the ships.

Meanwhile, Phillips' crew was able to regain control of the Maersk Alabama and resume sail towards Kenya, late Tuesday. The ship was headed to the country with relief supplies.

The Alabama was the sixth vessel in a week hijacked by pirates.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama was getting regular updates on the situation.

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