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MAERSK ALABAMA LIFEBOAT (in the film Captain Phillips)

This model is built all from wood and then painted like the real boat. There are no plastic and model is ready for display.

Item Code


Packing Volume


68L x 28W x 33H (cm)

 26.77L x 11.02W x 12.99H (inch)

 m =  ft

Mearsk Alabama Lifeboat Model

Lifeboat Model Mearsk Alabama

Mearsk Alabama Lifeboat

Lifeboat model made from wood

Handcrafted wooden lifeboat

Hand-made lifeboat model

Lifeboat model ready for display

The Maersk Alabama lifeboat on which Captain Phillips was held hostage by

Somali pirates in 2009 is on display at the National Navy SEAL Museum


The story of the incident was reported in the 2010 book A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Stephan Talty and Captain Richard Phillips, who had been master of the vessel at the time of the incident. The hijacking also inspired the 2013 film Captain Phillips.


The ship, with a crew of 20, loaded with 17,000 metric tons of cargo, was bound for Mombasa, Kenya, after a stop in Djibouti. On 8 April 2009, four pirates based on the FV Win Far 161 attacked the ship. All four of the pirates were between 17 and 19 years old, according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

The crew members of the Maersk Alabama had received anti-piracy training from union training schools, and had drilled aboard the ship a day previously. Their training included the use of small arms, anti-terror, basic safety, first aid, and other security-related courses. When the pirate alarm sounded early on Wednesday, 8 April, Chief Engineer Mike Perry brought 14 members of the crew into a "secure room" that the engineers had been in the process of fortifying for just such a purpose. As the pirates approached, the remaining crew fired flares. In addition, Perry and 1st A/E (Assistant Engineer) Matt Fisher swung the ship's rudder, which swamped the pirate skiff.

Nonetheless, the ship was boarded. Perry had initially taken main engine control away from the bridge and 1st A/E Matt Fisher had taken control of the steering gear. Perry then shut down all ship systems and the entire vessel "went black." The pirates captured Captain Richard Phillips and several other crew members minutes after boarding, but soon found that they could not control the ship.

Perry remained outside the secure room lying in wait, knife in hand, for a visit from the pirates who were trying to locate the missing crew members in order to gain control of the ship and presumably sail it to Somalia. Perry tackled the ringleader of the pirates and took him prisoner after a cat-and-mouse chase in a darkened engine room. The pirate ringleader, Abduwali Muse, cut his hand badly trying to keep Perry's knife away from his neck. The pirate was then tied up and his wounds were treated by Second Mate Ken Quinn.

Later, after suffering in the overheated secure room for hours, the crew attempted to exchange the pirate they had captured[11] for the captain, but the exchange went awry and after the crew released their captive, the pirates refused to honor the agreement. Captain Phillips escorted the pirates to a lifeboat to show them how to operate it, but then the pirates fled with the Captain.

On 8 April 2009, the destroyer USS Bainbridge and the USS Halyburton (FFG-40) were dispatched to the Gulf of Aden in response to the hostage situation. The ships reached the Maersk Alabama early on 9 April.

The Maersk Alabama was then escorted from the scene to its original destination of Mombasa where Captain Larry D. Aasheim retook command of the ship. Phillips had relieved Aasheim nine days earlier. CNN and Fox News quoted sources stating that the pirates' strategy was to await the arrival of additional hijacked vessels carrying more pirates and additional hostages to use as human shields


A stand-off ensued between the USS Bainbridge, the frigate USS Halyburton, and the pirates' lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama from 9 April 2009, where they held Captain Richard Phillips hostage. The lifeboat itself was covered and contained plenty of food and water but lacked basic comforts, including a toilet or ventilation.[18] The Bainbridge was equipped with a ScanEagle drone and Rigid-hulled inflatable boats. The Halyburton held two SH-60B helicopters on board. Both vessels stayed several hundred yards away, out of the pirates' range of fire. A P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft secured aerial footage and reconnaissance. Radio communication between the two ships was established. Four foreign vessels held by pirates headed towards the scene. A total of 54 hostages were on two of the ships, citizens of China, Germany, Russia, the Philippines, Tuvalu, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

On 10 April 2009, Phillips attempted to escape from the lifeboat but was recaptured after the captors fired shots. The pirates then threw a phone and a two-way radio dropped to them by the U.S. Navy into the ocean, fearing the Americans were somehow using the equipment to give instructions to the captain. The U.S. dispatched another warship, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, to the site off the Horn of Africa. The pirates' strategy was to link up with their comrades, who were holding various other hostages, and to get Phillips to Somalia where they could hide him and make a rescue more difficult for the Americans. Anchoring near shore would allow them to land quickly if attacked. Negotiations were ongoing between the pirates and the captain of the Bainbridge and FBI hostage negotiators. The captors were also communicating with other pirate vessels by satellite phone.

However, negotiations broke down hours after the pirates fired on the Halyburton not long after sunrise on Saturday, 11 April 2009. The American frigate did not return fire and "did not want to escalate the situation". No crew members of the Halyburton were injured from the gunfire, as the shots were fired haphazardly by a pirate from the front hatch of the lifeboat.

"We are safe and we are not afraid of the Americans. We will defend ourselves if attacked", one of the pirates told Reuters by satellite phone. Phillips' family had gathered at his farmhouse in Vermont awaiting a resolution to the situation.
Captain Phillips (right) with Commander Frank Castellano of the USS Bainbridge after being rescued.

On Saturday, 11 April 2009, the Maersk Alabama arrived in the port of Mombasa, Kenya, under U.S. military escort. An 18-man security team was on board. The FBI then secured the ship as a crime scene.

Commander Frank Castellano, the commanding officer of the Bainbridge, stated that as the winds picked up, tensions rose among the pirates and "we calmed them" and persuaded the pirates to be towed by the destroyer.

On Sunday, April 12, U.S. Navy SEAL marksmen opened fire and killed the three pirates on the lifeboat. Phillips was rescued uninjured. Commander Castellano, with prior authorization from higher authority, ordered the action after determining Phillips' life was in immediate danger, citing reports that a pirate was pointing an AK-47 rifle at Phillips' back.Navy SEAL snipers, from "SEAL Team Six", opened fire nearly simultaneously from Bainbridge's fantail, killing the three pirates with bullets to the head. The SEALs had arrived Friday afternoon after being parachuted into the water near the Halyburton, which later joined with the Bainbridge. At the time, the Bainbridge had the lifeboat under tow, approximately 25 to 30 yards astern. One of the pirates killed was Ali Aden Elmi, the last name of another was Hamac, and the third has not been identified in English-language press reports. A fourth pirate, Abduwali Muse, aboard the Bainbridge and negotiating for Phillips' release while being treated for an injury sustained in the takeover of Maersk Alabama, remained in custody.

The bodies of the three dead pirates were turned over by the U.S. Navy to unidentified recipients in Somalia in the last week of April 2009.



The owners of U.S. Maersk Alabama donated the bullet-marked 5-ton fiberglass lifeboat upon which the pirates held Captain Phillips hostage to the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, in August 2009. The lifeboat had recently been on loan to National Geographic for its "Real Pirates" exhibition at the Nauticus marine science museum in Norfolk, Virginia. The producers of the Captain Phillips film visited the Museum in the process of re-creating the lifeboat and interiors for the set. An example of the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle used to monitor the crisis is also on display, as is the Mark 11 Mod 0 (SR-25) sniper rifle of the type used by the U.S. Navy SEALS to kill the pirates and free Phillips.


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