Two Topeka men among crew of pirated ship

TOPEKA | Two Topeka men are among crew members on a U.S. ship attacked by Somali pirates off the African coast Tuesday.

The crew of the Liberty Sun successfully blockaded themselves in the engine room and warded off the attack with evasive maneuvers.

Caroline Waldmann of Topeka says her husband, Bill Waldmann, and her brother, Ken Stearns, were apprentice merchant marines on the Liberty Sun. The attack was the second on a U.S.-flagged cargo ship in a week.

The ship arrived at Mombasa, Kenya, early Thursday with its bridge damaged by rocket-propelled grenades and its windows shattered by gunfire. But the crew was unharmed.

The ship is carrying food aid for hungry Africans -- including Somalis.

Caroline Waldmann says she has worried about her husband ever since he decided on a career change last year.