Another Hearing and a Video on Piracy

Another Hearing and a Video on Piracy

Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips will be back for a second round of testimony on Capitol Hill May 5, when a Senate subcommittee takes on "Piracy on the High Seas."

The Maersk vessel's chief engineer, Michael Perry, will testify alongside Phillips, who advocated arming U.S. merchant seamen in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 30.

This time around, the hearing is being held by the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, chaired by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.

In addition to testimony from Phillips, Perry and other speakers, the subcommittee will screen a video of the initial attack on the Maersk Alabama.

The hearing starts at 3 pm in Room 253 of the Senate Russell Building.

It's not clear what Congress can or should do to fight piracy — arming crews and officers or placing arm guards on ships might well be illegal in many circumstances. 

In the meantime, Phoenix Intelligence Support Services, a private company, is organizing an international anti-piracy summit on May 27–29 at the Intercontinental Hotel City Stars in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt. 

About 300 international delegates will discuss near-term solutions and long-term policy for tackling piracy.