John Reinhart, chief executive and president of Maersk Line Ltd., said the crew can try to outrun the pirate boats or turn fire hoses on anyone trying to board the ship, "but we do not carry arms." I sure hope that the FBI "negotiators" are the Hostage Rescue Team, because there's nothing left to negotiate with these people, except to buy time and fool them to give us an opportunity to kill them. Read about how they said they were going to switch for one of the pirates that was captures for the captain, but they just kept the captain and ditched. Shows that they aren't going to give anything up. I will never understand the stupidity of the UN arms embargo in the region, because all of the militants there have weapons, anyway, and there is no enforcement to punish those caught with them. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/09/ship.hijacked/index.html?iref=topnews U.S. negotiators try to persuade pirates to free captain NORFOLK, Virginia (CNN) -- Negotiators aboard a U.S. Navy warship are trying to secure the release of an American freighter captain who is being held by pirates on a lifeboat off the coast of Somalia, according to Maersk Line Ltd. The pirates are the same four men who hijacked Capt. Richard Phillips' vessel, the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama, early Wednesday hundreds of miles off the Horn of Africa. The 20-person American crew later regained control of the vessel, which is owned and operated by the Norfolk-based Maersk Line Ltd. The U.S. Navy, which is in charge of the situation, requested the help of the FBI, and FBI negotiators in the United States are in touch with the crew of the warship, USS Bainbridge, a senior U.S. defense official said. Phillips has not been harmed, according to Maersk's last communication with the Navy, the shipping company's spokesman Kevin Speers said Thursday morning. Maersk is doing everything it can "to increase the chance of [a] peaceful outcome," Speers said. "We are encouraged that most of the crew is safe. They have been resilient and courageous throughout this crisis," he said. "But we will remain on watch, staffing our situation room and our family hot line until this situation is resolved and the captain is safely returned." The Maersk Alabama was on its way to Mombasa, Kenya, loaded with food aid when the pirates attacked it Wednesday. It was the first time in recent history that pirates targeted an American ship. Video Watch how pirates work off Somalia » The pirates reneged on their agreement to exchange Phillips for one pirate whom the crew had captured, according to the second officer of the ship, Ken Quinn. The pirate was released unharmed, according to Quinn, who spoke to CNN on Wednesday via a satellite call. Video Watch company spokesman say how captain is held » On Thursday, the Maersk Alabama began a 50-hour journey to Mombasa with an 18-person armed security detail on board, according to Capt. Joseph Murphy, the father of the ship's second in command. Maersk and U.S. military officials confirmed the cargo ship has left the area on Thursday, but would not say where it was heading for security reasons. The ship was hijacked 350 miles off Somalia's coast, a distance that used to be considered safe from pirate attacks. See how pirate attacks have increased » The U.S. Navy issued a warning several days ago to ships in the area that pirates were operating farther offshore. Video Watch former Navy captain discuss options » Quinn told CNN that the pirates were armed with AK-47 assault rifles. The ship's crew carried no weapons. Crew members managed to take one of the four pirates hostage, Quinn said. The crew -- apparently minus the captain -- locked themselves in the compartment that contains the ship's steering gear, where they remained for about 12 hours with their captive, whom Quinn said they had tied up. The three other pirates "got frustrated because they couldn't find us," he said. The pirates had scuttled the small boat they used to reach the ship, Quinn said, so Phillips offered them the Alabama's 28-foot lifeboat and some money. Crew members agreed to exchange their captive pirate for Phillips, Quinn said, but the pirates reneged on their agreement. "We returned him, but they didn't return the captain," Quinn said. Video Watch Quinn describe the hijacking to CNN » There are emergency rations to last 10 days on the lifeboat, but the conditions are most likely "uncomfortable," according to Murphy. "There's no toilet facilities or anything like that," he said. "The captain has a VHF radio, and I'm sure that he's in voice communication with the ship itself. The problem is, of course, that ... the [radio's] battery is going to die, and I'm not really sure how they're going to continue communication after that." It is common for crews of merchant vessels to travel through the area unarmed despite the risk of pirate attacks, experts said. An armed crew could provoke a firefight that would endanger the crew's lives or its cargo, which often contains flammable or explosive material. advertisement John Reinhart, chief executive and president of Maersk Line Ltd., said the crew can try to outrun the pirate boats or turn fire hoses on anyone trying to board the ship, "but we do not carry arms." The vessel was carrying relief supplies for USAID, the U.N. World Food Program and the Christian charities WorldVision and Catholic Relief Services. The U.N. agency said its portion of the cargo included nearly 4,100 metric tons of corn-soya blend bound for Somalia and Uganda, and another 990 metric tons of vegetable oil for refugees in Kenya. CNN's Jason Carroll contributed to this report.