Maersk Crew Heads Home, Will Reunite With Captain in U.S.

Maersk shipping line says the freed American sea captain will not be reuniting in Kenya with his crew that thwarted a pirate attack.

Capt. Richard Phillips had been scheduled to reunite in Mombassa Wednesday with the Maersk Alabama crew and then fly home with them.

But the Maersk crew left their hotel Wednesday morning and have left via charter plane from Mombassa to the U.S.

Maersk spokesman Gordan van Hook confirmed the departure and said Capt. Richard Phillips's reunion with his crew now will take place in the United States.

A Kenyan airport official said a second chartered plane is waiting at the Mombasa airport for Phillips.

Van Hook said Phillips is aboard the USS Bainbridge. The destroyer diverted Tuesday to try to help a second U.S. freighter under attack by pirates. But the Liberty Sun escaped bandits firing grenades and automatic weapons before the Bainbridge arrived.

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The U.S. Navy and Maersk say the Bainbridge is not coming to Mombassa, Kenya. However, a maritime contact tells FOX News the Bainbridge is 20 miles off the coast of Kenya and could be in Mombassa port later today.

The Navy tells FOX they have a security detachment on the Liberty Sun which was targeted by pirates overnight.

There are conflicting reports as to when the Liberty Sun will arrive in Mombassa. Some say it could be within the next few hours while other reports put the arrival time at tomorrow morning.

U.S. Navy sharpshooters on the Bainbridge killed three pirates Sunday to free Phillips from a drifting lifeboat on which he had been held for five days.

There are conflicting reports on Phillips' new schedule. Some say he will arrive in Mombassa by 6 p.m. local time Wednesday, while others have him arriving on Thursday morning, either on the Bainbridge or the Liberty Sun.

FOX News' Greg Palkot and The Associated Press contributed to this report.