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Ship captain sits down with Matt Lauer

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In his first interview since his rescue from pirates at sea, Richard Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama, told “Today’s” Matt Lauer that “I didn’t think I’d ever get out of that boat” – referring to the craft he was on that was towed by the USS Bainbridge – but also praised those who saved him.

“They’re unbelievable,” he told Lauer in an interview taped Friday in Vermont, where Phillips lives. “We really owe it to the military for what they do day in, and day out, that we never even hear about. What they did was impossible.”

On April 12, three Navy SEALs fired shots at three pirates on the boat, killing them. A fourth pirate was captured earlier and is now in federal custody in Manhattan.

Lauer asked Phillips about an escape attempt, and he said: “I did have radio contact with the Maersk Alabama and I told them if you see a splash in the water, it’s going to be ’cause I’m coming. I had always expected to escape.”



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