NEW YORK (AP) – Maersk Alabama crew member William Rios has told his story of surviving a pirate attack at a Bronx luncheon attended by hundreds of people, including Houston mega-church pastor Joel Osteen and other religious leaders.

Rios was one of 19 crewmen aboard the Maersk Alabama when it was attacked by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa.

The ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, was taken hostage in an ordeal that ended when Navy SEALS rescued Phillips and killed three of the pirates.

A fourth Somali appeared in Manhattan federal court Tuesday on piracy charges.

After the crew’s release, the 41-year-old Rios said one of the first things he planned to do once he returned home was attend his Harlem church.

Osteen is the senior pastor at the Lakewood Church in Houston.

AP-ES-04-22-09 1755EDT


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