The captors’ options are not good here: They’re in open water, supposedly out of fuel, with a frigate atop them. Surrender means imprisonment, and harming the hostage would not serve their ends either. The threat of harm keeps them from being taken out already, but unlike the Faina incident they don’t have their backs covered.
So far most crews plying the trade off Somalia are in it more for the money than for any other reason, which gives this the same dynamics as a robbery gone wrong turning into a hostage negotiation. Our hopes are for Captain Phillips and his family that like most such cases, the resolution is quick and peaceful.