When Somali pirates were holding a U.S. ship captain hostage last week, Katy Urbik of Wheaton, Ill., grew worried.
When news came Sunday that Capt. Richard Phillips had been rescued, that still didn't ease her mind.
That's because her son, Tom, a 26-year-old marine engineer, was on the Liberty Sun — another U.S. ship in the waters off Somalia.
"I was getting very nervous for Tom because I hadn't heard from him in a while," Urbik said. "I was hearing the reports on the news that the Somali pirates had vowed revenge and were going to try to attack American ships and not take prisoners, just kill them."
On Tuesday morning, Urbik got an e-mail from her son. "We are under attack by pirates," he wrote. "We are being hit by rockets. Also bullets. We are barricaded in the engine room and so far, no one is hurt."
"That was pretty alarming and very scary," Urbik said.
"But I only had to deal with that for a minute or two," she said. Almost immediately, a new e-mail arrived, saying the "Navy had arrived, they were safe and they were being escorted into Mombasa, Kenya."
That escort was the USS Bainbridge — the same ship that rescued Phillips.
Until she hears from her son, Urbik said, his last e-mail will have to do.
"All is well," he wrote. "I love you all and thank you for the prayers, Tom."