Shipping Company Closely Watching Standoff at Sea

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The shipping company Maersk says the
safe return of the abducted captain is now its top priority.
Corroborating existing reports, company spokesman Kevin Speers
said "the most recent contact" with the ship seized by pirates
indicates that Capt. Richard Phillips remains hostage and that a
Navy ship, the USS Bainbridge, is on the scene nearby.
Speers said the company "is grateful" for the support it has
received from the military establishment and the federal
government. He also said that "the safe return of the captain is
our foremost priority." Speers said everything the company has
done in the past 24 hours has been meant to improve chances of a
peaceful outcome to the standoff in the Indian Ocean off the coast
of Somalia.

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