Mobile-based ship firm monitors piracy closely

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Officials at Mobile-based International
Shipholding Corp. are monitoring the piracy incident off the coast
of Somalia closely.

The vessel is owned by Maersk USA and leased to International
Shipholding, under what is known as a bareboat charter.

The firm says it has had such relationships with Maersk for the past three to five years.

Pirates took Capt. Richard Phillips as a hostage after an attack
on the M/V Maersk Alabama on Wednesday.

A standoff continues.

International Shipholding says Maersk is taking the lead on the
negotiations, but it is working closely with the firm.

Under a bareboat charter, a crew or provisions are provided by
the entity that rents the boat from the owner.

The vessel then in turn is leased back to Maersk USA. Officials say none of the crewmembers are from the Gulf Coast.

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