, MOGADISHU, April 10 – The US ship captain being held hostage by pirates off Somalia jumped off the lifeboat where he was being held early Friday but failed to escape his captors, US networks reported.
Captain Richard Phillips jumped into the water during the night and tried to swim towards the nearby US destroyer, the USS Bainbridge, but pirates jumped in and recaptured him, three US television networks reported.
US military officials told CNN that Phillips was in good condition and that the pirates did not hurt him.
The Bainbridge, accompanied by a P-3 Orion surveillance plane, was preventing the pirates from moving their hostage to a larger ship.
Meanwhile Vice Admiral William Gortney, the commander of the US 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, told CNN that negotiations between officers on the Bainbridge backed by FBI experts and the pirates were continuing.
"We have the USS Bainbridge on station currently negotiating with the pirates to get our American citizen back," Gortney told CNN.