Increasing incidents of piracy off the coast of East Africa have been the cause of international concern since 2005. Last April, a U.S. military intervention ended a tense conflict involving Somali pirates and an American crew. On April 7, 2009, pirates attacked and boarded an American cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, after they had been tracking it for days. In an act of heroism, the tanker's captain, Richard Phillips, offered himself as a hostage to save his crew. The captain was held on a lifeboat with four pirates armed with pistols and AK-47s when snipers aboard the Navy destroyer USS Bainbridge shot and killed three of them. Captain Phillips was unharmed and has since published a book recounting the ordeal the story is slated to be made into a film produced by Kevin Spacey.