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Wife Of Pirated Crew Member Describes Heroic Outcome

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The wife of a Harlem sailor who was on the pirated tanker overseas said teamwork and heroism helped ensure her husband's safety and pending return home. NY1's Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.

Sherry Rios' husband, William, who was aboard the Maersk Alabama when it was seized by Somali pirates, is safe and coming home.

"I just shouted out 'thank you Jesus, thank you so much for a happy ending'," said Rios.

William Rios was one of the 19 crew members onboard when the ship came under attack by pirates who took the captain hostage and held him for five days.

Rios tried to conceal the scary facts from the couple's children.

"I just tried to keep them on point of what's going on, but not too many details and now they're so happy, they just can't wait to see him," said Rios.

Rios said she's gotten used to her husband's job keeping him away for months at a time, but never like this.

William called her on Saturday from the ship now docked in the Kenyan port of Mombasa. The crew was sharing a cell phone so their conversation was brief but joyful.


"We were both saying that we love each other and he was asking me did I hear what was going on and I was so busy asking him was he ok," said Rios.

Sherry says her husband is a religious man and knows when he comes home he'll want to stop at the Second Saint John Baptist Church.

"It's the family church that I grew up in, Second Saint John Baptist Church and we was married by the pastor," said Rios.

In 20 years working for the Maersk line, this was Rios' first time sailing with Captain Richard Phillips who offered himself to the pirates so his crew would be safe.

"I think all the crew members are heroes, to me they worked as a team, as a group together so I think all of them should be recognized as heroes," said Rios.

Now all Rios has to do is wait for her hero to come home.

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