National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Hijacked ship carrying food aid for Rwanda relief


Food aid for Catholic Relief Services programs in Rwanda is part of the cargo on the Maersk Alabama, the scene of a recent pirate hostage standoff and hijacking.

CRS, the U.S. bishops' overseas aid and development agency, said in a statement April 9 that the U.S.-flagged, Danish-owned container ship, which was hijacked off the coast of Somalia by Somali pirates April 8, was holding a six-month supply of wheat for poor Rwandans.

"CRS hopes that the ship will now be able to make its way to its destination ... as any interruption of the food supply for these vulnerable Rwandans could be critical to their health," the statement said. "CRS also prays for the safe return of Capt. Richard Phillips, who is being held hostage by the pirates."

Francis-cartoon-book.jpgGet NCR's newest book: The Chronicles of Francis, the Cartoon Strip, featuring cartoons from the popular series Francis.
Buy it now!

Phillips was taken hostage April 9 after hours of fighting between crew members of the Maersk Alabama and the Somali pirates. The 20-man ship eventually defeated the pirates, who then retreated into a lifeboat with Phillips. AP reported that as U.S. ships surrounded the lifeboat, the cargo ship was heading to Africa.

Phillips tried to escape the pirate boat around midnight April 9 but quickly was recaptured by the Somalis.

Enjoy this article?
Help support more like it by donating today!

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.


Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.