Sailor E-Mails Mom During Pirate Attack

26-year-old aboard "Liberty Sun" kept family posted online

Somali pirates vowed revenge on the U.S. after the recent rescue of the captured captain of the "Alabama," and yesterday's attack on the "Liberty Sun" appears to have been that retaliation.

The most recent pirate attack on an American ship had a local family feeling particularly anxious.

Batavia native Thomas Urbik, 26, was aboard the "Liberty Sun" when it was attacked while carrying humanitarian aid near pirate-patrolled waters Tuesday, the Daily Herald reported.

Urbik's family was as aware of the unfolding drama as almost anyone, while they received e-mail updates from their loved one as the siege unfolded.  Read the e-mails here.

"We got the first e-mail from him telling us to relax and that they'd be going into pirate territory, which we knew was the hot area," father Mike Urbik said. "For two days we didn't hear from him, which was really building anxiety. Then we got word about the attack on the Maersk and that (pirates) said they would take revenge."

Thomas Urbik sent another e-mail to his parents, subject line: "I love you all."

It read: "We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets. Also bullets. We are barricaded in the engine room and so far no one is hurt. a rocket penetrated the bulkhead but the hole is small. Small fire too but put out. Navy is on the way and helos and ships are coming. I'll try to send you another message soon. got to go now. I love you mom and dad and all my brothers and family."

A long and frightening hour and a half later, he e-mailed again to say the U.S. Navy ship, the USS Bainbridge, had arrived to help and that everyone was ok.

President Obama has vowed to stem the tide of pirate attacks, but the defiant Somali pirates appear equally determined to seek vengence.

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