WEST PARIS – A Maine mother breathed a little bit easier Sunday after the announcement that the captain of a U.S. cargo ship who was being held hostage by Somali pirates was rescued.

“I’ve just been glued to the T.V. and heartsick,” said Verna Lynch of West Paris. “It’s very exciting that it worked out, because there’s just so many ways that it could have gone wrong.”

Lynch’s daughter, 26-year-old Marine Capt. Katharine Folz, serves as an officer in charge of signal intelligence aboard the USS Boxer, a Naval amphibious assault ship that played a part in the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage by pirates of the Somalia coast since Wednesday.

As of Sunday night, Phillips was “resting comfortably” on the USS Boxer, according to the Navy officials.

Lynch said she has not heard from her daughter for several weeks due to the sensitive nature of her mission. The anxious mother hoped to hear from Folz within the next couple days, given the media attention surrounding the USS Boxer’s role in Phillips’ rescue.

Folz is a 2004 graduate of the Naval Academy who did her post-graduate work in chemistry at Cambridge in England on a full scholarship from the Bill Gates Foundation. Lynch said her daughter is assigned to an amphibious assault group.

“Everyone who was involved in this team effort should be recognized,” Lynch said. “Most of these folks who do this kind of work don’t do it to get credit.”


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