Captive Captain 'Still Alive' as Pirates Steer Lifeboat Toward Shore

The FBI's plans to interview the crew members could indicate the Justice Department will prosecute the pirates since they attacked a U.S.-flagged vessel.

Maersk also announced today it had set up an e-mail address "where concerned persons from around the world may send messages of support for the captain, crew and families of the Maersk Alabama."

People were invited to send their thoughts to

"We would like to recognize all the expressions of support received already," the company said as it disclosed the e-mail address Saturday.

Standoff in the Indian Ocean

With reinforcements on the way and other pirated ships heading to the scene to attempt to take Phillips and his captors to Somalia, the U.S. Navy is bracing for a confrontation on the high seas.

The Navy's objective is to stop the lifeboat from linking up with pirate mother ships or heading ashore without using force.

On Saturday, one of the pirate ships that had been heading to the scene, a German vessel with 24 hostages on board, turned around. It couldn't find the lifeboat.

Meanwhile, inside the lifeboat, Phillips and his captors -- four pirates armed with AK-47 rifles -- likely face brutal conditions.

"It's hot. It's uncomfortable," Adm. Richard Gurnon said. "These bob like a cork. They don't ride very well. There are four pirates with him. It's the Indian Ocean. And it's 100 degrees."

Phillips and four pirates have been in the lifeboat for four days. It can hold 76 people, so there is room for them to move around.

The Bainbridge has been keeping an eye on the four pirates in recent days and has been joined by other U.S. warships -- the Halyburton, which carries two helicopters and the USS Boxer, which carries about 20 helicopters and attack planes.

Back in Phillips' hometown of Underhill, Vt., the captain's wife, Andrea, has helped put up yellow ribbons, but has remained silent about her husband's plight. She issued a statement Friday through Maersk thanking neighbors and the nation for its outpouring of support.

"We have felt the compassion of the world through your concern for Richard. My husband is a strong man and we will remain strong for him. We ask that you do the same," Andrea Phillips said.

High-Seas Drama: The Standoff Begins

The high-seas drama settled into a standoff after the pirates boarded the container ship Maersk Alabama Wednesday while firing AK-47 assault rifles, but were forced off the ship a short time later by the unarmed American crew, which captured one of the pirates.

Phillips apparently prevented a bloody counterattack by the pirates by offering himself as a hostage. A prisoner exchange was arranged, but the pirates didn't keep their part of the bargain and refused to let the captain go free


After the escape bid on Friday, the pirates threatened to kill him Phillips the U.S. Navy attempted to rescue him.

The Maersk Alabama was in Somali waters because it was carrying food aid to hungry people in Africa, including Somalia.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Jason Ryan and Anne Marie Dorning contributed to this report.

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