Our sister paper, Village Voice in NYC, obtained a firsthand account of a M/V Maersk Alabama crewmember that weaves a great tale of battling the Somali pirates as they attacked their vessel April 8.
While many of the mainstream media accounts have focused on the events following the capture of the boat's captain, the email shows how the situation unfolded for the rest of the crew.
The crewmember tells friends that by the time the pirates had commandeered the bridge, the chief engineer and two other crewmen had taken control of the engine and steering rooms.
The pirates initially captured the captain and three crewmembers on the unsecured bridge. But the rest of the crew was able to flee to the relative safety of the lower parts of the vessel.
"We kept swinging the rudder side to side," the crewman says. "The pirates' boat capsized ... after about 20 minutes, the engine was killed, I don't know by whom. At that point I shut off the air bottles and Mike [the chief engineer] killed power. He was also able to get outside and trip the fuel shutoff for the EDG [emergency generator]."
Once the power was out, the interior of the ship was pitch black.
"The pirates were very reluctant to go into the dark," the crewman says.
The full story is worth a read. Check it out here