The new “Captain Phillips” movie is about a cargo ship taken over by Somali pirates holding crew members on the ship hostage. The movie portrays the captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips, to be an average family man who steps up in the crossfire of the takeover, becoming the hero who rescues his crew by giving himself up.
But how true is this really? Has Hollywood taken yet another “true story” and placed such a spin on it that the movie becomes a not-so-true story?
An actual crew member, who has remained anonymous for legal reasons, has spoken about the actual events that happened on the ship, and as it turns out, Captain Phillips in the movie is a massive lie and is nothing like the actual Captain Richard Phillips. Nicely done, Hollywood.
The crew member explains Phillips to be an arrogant and self-righteous captain. “Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie,” he explains. Phillips was a man no one really waned to sail with because of his attitude and disregard to the safety of crew members.
In the movie, Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, is a stickler to safety protocol and even believes there isn’t enough safety measures taken, shouting “Let’s tighten up security”. However, the day the actual Maersk Alabama was taken over by pirates, Phillips was breaking safety protocol by being 235 miles away from the Somali coast. What was protocol? That all ships must be 600 miles away. Phillips paid no attention and crew had urged him not to get so close to the coast because of the rising pirate attacks on ships.
Sixteen ships had been attacked by pirates in a three week period, eight of those being hostage takeovers. Phillips has received seven emails about warnings and extra protocol to be taken up. If a pirate takeover were to occur, crew members were to shut off all lights and power and lock themselves below the deck. But Phillips did not take part in that plan because it wasn’t his plan, the crew member states. And obviously, the boat was taken over by pirates. Which was apparently the only thing true writers for the movie kept.
The movie version of Captain Phillips makes the audience believe Tom Hanks’ version of Phillips offered himself to the pirates in order to save his crew. In actuality, crew members say Phillips was simply taken by the pirates. No heroic movements were made on Phillips part. He let them take him.
The crew waited on the boat to be rescued after the pirates took off with Phillips and Phillips was saved four days later by Navy Seals. Phillips was since then deemed an American hero. But from the crew members stand point, Phillips endangered all of their lives with his reckless behavior and the whole situation could have been avoided if Phillips would have followed protocol. The real Richard Phillips has yet to claim any truth in what the crew members are saying.