Captain Phillips Heads Home

After five days held hostage aboard a toilet-less lifeboat, Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips is flying home with his 19-person crew on Wednesday. A few more details are leaking out about their ordeal: A crew member says Phillips was held in the ship’s lifeboat because the Americans were able to destroy the small boat used by the pirates—all said by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be between 17 and 19 years old—during the hijacking. But it seems the pirates have not been deterred by the Maersk Alabama hijacking’s bloody denouement: On Tuesday alone, bands of pirates took 60 more hostages in four ships. “Our latest hijackings are meant to show that no one can deter us from protecting our waters from the enemy because we believe in dying for our land,” one pirate told reporters via phone. At least 17 ships are currently in the hands of pirates.