Captain Richard Phillips has been rescued, after a brief firefight off the Somali coast.
According to the AP, Phllips was rescued by U.S. naval forces and was not harmed. Three Somali pirates were killed in the operation, and one was injured.
Details on the rescue have not been released, but Phillips apparently triggered the operation by jumping from the lifeboat where he was being held captive. The Navy opened fire, preventing the pirates from recapturing the American merchant captain. Phillips was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, which was monitoring the situation.
The rescue took place around nightfall (Somali time). There is some speculation that Captain Phillips deliberately waited for that time, knowing that U.S. forces--including SEAL elements operating from the Bainbridge--have a distinct advantage in terms of night-fighting equipment and tactics.