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Interview with John Cronan of the Maersk Alabama

April 22, 2009

At the Washington Post, an interview with John Cronan, 3rd Engineer on the cargo ship Maersk Alabama which was hijacked by Somali pirates. The first detailed account I’ve seen from one of the crew members of the conditions on board the ship during the hijacking. Mr. Cronan took questions from Post readers. An example:

Philadelphia, Pa.: What protections, if any, against pirates were on board? What is the protocol you take when you realize there is a pirate ship near?

John Cronan: At the time we had fire hoses rigged and tied off to the railing. That’s all we had. As far as precautions go, we had satellite communications so distress calls were placed immediately.

We sound the alarm which is a systematic ringing of the ship’s bells and PA announcements and that’s what we do. I heard the bells and I heard the captain’s (Capt. Phillips) voice on the PA.

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