An unnamed US official told the Associated Press news agency that Capt Phillips was freed in what appeared to be a swift firefight.
Reports say he jumped overboard for a second time, and the pirates were shot and killed before they could take action to get him back.
US forces apparently took advantage of the fact one of the pirates was negotiating on the USS Bainbridge when the incident happened.
That must have been the best high those snipers ever had. Shooting Africans on a boat! Please, release the video!
Now, up the Detroit River and do your stuff! Next stop, El Rio Grande!