HIGH SEAS

Pirates Can't Drift Forever

This can't go on much longer. Time is running out for the Somali pirates holding Virginia Captain Richard Phillips hostage, as their rations are dwindling and options are narrowing by the day. And just this morning comes news that Phillips tried to escape the lifeboat but was recaptured. So how will it end? The pirates are demanding a ransom from the U.S.—which the government most likely won't pay. A nearby U.S. naval destroyer is nearby and aiding in negotiations, and another American ship is on its way, but the pirates say they'll fight if attacked. There's a potential threat of pirate reinforcements coming in as well, but the American destroyers will most likely thwart any additional pirates heading to the ship. The pirates' best hope might be negotiating their safe passage back to Somalia in exchange for the hostage, but even that prospect looks dim given the Navy's superior position.