President Barack Obama granted the Pentagon's request for standing authority to use appropriate force to save the life of the captain, Gortney said.
The U.S. Navy 5th Fleet in Bahrain said the rescue took place at 12:19 p.m. EDT (1619 GMT) and the lifeboat had drifted to about 20 miles (32 km) from lawless Somalia's coast.
Phillips, captain of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama container ship, contacted his family after the rescue, received a routine medical evaluation, and was resting comfortably aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer.
USS Bainbridge, the Navy Seals, Joint U.S. Task Force and especially President Barack Obama rescued Capt. Phillips from a hostage ordeal. Well Done, Mr. President!
This is a proud moment for America and a powerfully signal event in your Presidency.
You took a tough call and answered with the authority of an American President.