After Navy snipers caught view of Somali pirates aiming an AK-47 at Captain Phillips, Navy sharpshooters came in and killed three of his captors rescuing the captain. President Obama personally approved the use of force by US Special Operations forces.
Phillips was taken hostage after pirates attacked his American cargo ship. The crew regained control of the vessel, but the pirates held the captain hostage on the life boat. After three US warships came within reach of the lifeboat, the Somali pirates threatened to kill Phillips. On Friday, he jumped out of the lifeboat, but was recaptured. He was finally rescued today.
To see video of the initial news conference,