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Retired Merchant Marine: Piracy Getting Worse

April 13, 2009, 9:47 PM by Karla Ramaekers

Retired Merchant Marine: Piracy Getting Worse
Captain Richard Phillips has experienced his first full day of freedom since being captured by pirates last week off the coast of Somalia. Although he's made it home safe, pirates are now vowing to retaliate the deaths of their three comrades who were shot down to force the captain's release. One local retired captain says those threats should not be taken lightly.

Calvin Lee Havorka has sailed to nearly every corner of the world. The retired Merchant Marine Captain spent almost forty years at sea. And though pirates never approached his ships, he says the threat is growing.

"Not like old pirates, where they'd come aboard and you'd fight them and they'd take your money.  Now, they come aboard with high powered weapons.  First time we've had an incident with death involved, I don't think they'll have their code of ethics anymore. Now, they will kill their hostages if they have to," Havorka said.

That seemed to be the threat against Captain Richard Phillips, who was freed when Navy SEAL snipers killed the three pirates who were holding him hostage. Havorka says that decision likely saved Phillips' life, but may threaten more lives in the future.

"I am grateful the Captain is alive and well, we got him back, but I realize killing the three men that we've opened up another can of worms that will present problems down the road," Havorka said.

Havorka expects more retaliation against U.S. ships, and says it'll be up to our military and government to ensure the safety of those on board.

"It's wrong, it's bad, and our country has to stand up for our fleet," Havorka said.

To keep Americans safe on international waters.

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