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U.S. Ship Captain Says Armed Crew Alone Won't Solve Piracy

The captain of a hijacked U.S. ship says vessels working pirate-infested waters should be protected by an armed corps of senior officers and have a clear chain of command.

Maersk Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, who was captured by pirates and rescued by Navy SEAL sharpshooters this month, cautioned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday that arming commercial ship crews should only be a part of a broader protection plan against piracy. He said that government protection for ships is his preference as long as everyone knows who is in charge in a crisis.

The House also is holding a hearing, as Congress considers combating a spike in piracy against commercial ships, particularly in the Horn of Africa.