U.S. officials say they are working to free the American captain of a cargo ship being held hostage by pirates on a life boat off the coast of Somalia.
A White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs says President Barack Obama is following the situation closely, his main concern being for the safety of the captain and crew. The pirates briefly hijacked the container ship Maersk Alabama on Wednesday, and then took Captain Richard Phillips captive as they escaped aboard a lifeboat when the ship's crew regained control of the vessel.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters the lifeboat appears to have run out of fuel. She said the Navy and FBI are working to bring an end the hostage situation and bring the pirates to justice. A U.S. warship, the USS Bainbridge, arrived at the scene early Thursday.