- Captain Richard Phillips has been labeled a hero after pirates took him hostage from the Maersk Alabama, but a fellow sailor says that’s a lie
- ‘Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie’: The captain played so sympathetically by Hanks has been accused of putting the crew in danger with his self-righteous attitude
- The film Captain Phillips details how Somali pirates hijacked a U.S. cargo ship in 2009 for the the first time in 200 years
PUBLISHED: 13:15 EST, 13 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:42 EST, 13 October 2013
A dramatic new blockbuster starring Tom Hanks paints cargo ship Captain Richard Phillips as a hero, but some crewmembers say he was no leader and even blame him for the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates that made him famous.
The film version portrays Phillips’ crew as layabouts who fell into the hands of pirates, the first time a U.S. cargo ship was hijacked in 200 years, before Navy SEALS arrived to bail them out. But a recent lawsuit and firsthand account say just the opposite.
‘Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie,’ says a crewman who served under the Phillips, no doubt one of the 11 who are now suing Maersk, the company that owns the ship, for nearly $50 million.
Telling a lie? Captain Richard Phillips’ story has been turned into a blockbuster film starring Tom Hanks. But crew who were there during the 2009 Somali pirate saga allege that the hero Hanks plays has little to do with the real Captain Phillips
‘No one wants to sail with him,’ the anonymous sailor told the New York Post.
The source said that’s because Phillips has a reputation for being ‘sullen and self-righteous’ and alleges that in April 2009 his arrogance led to the hijacking of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama.
‘The crew had begged Captain Phillips not to go so close to the Somali coast,’ Deborah Waters, the attorney who brought the claim, told the Post. ‘He told them he wouldn’t let pirates scare him or force him to sail away from the coast.’
The lawsuit alleges that Phillips was left an anti-piracy plan when he took command of the ship in March 2009.
‘Shoot me’: Hanks plays the title role in Captain Phillips, and portrays the real life mariner as selfless and dedicated to his crew
Drama: The film dramatizes the April 2009 attack on the Maersk Alabama, which ended with a SEAL Team 6 amphibous rescue of Phillips, who was tied up but unhurt with the pirates in the ship’s tiny life boat (pictured)
‘He didn’t want anything to do with it, because it wasn’t his plan,’ the crew member claimed. ‘He was real arrogant.’
His fault? Captain Phillips became a hero in the press, wrote a book on the ordeal, and even met the president, but at least one crew member on the scene says he was actually the reason they were hijacked
Phillips denies such a plan existed.
Whether the plan existed or not, the crux of the suit lies in whether 57-year-old Phillips intentionally ignored repeated warnings that he keep the ship at least 600 miles from the Somali coast.
The crew member said the ship was just 235 miles from the coast, while Phillips has admitted to putting the ship around 300 miles from shore.
Either way, he hasn’t admitted to wrongdoing in the matter and is a witness for the defense in the case.
An even bigger mischaracterization crewmembers see in Phillips’ account and in the film is in the moment the captain says he gave himself up to the pirates to save his crew.
‘If you’re gonna shoot somebody, shoot me!’ Tom Hanks’ character says tells the pirates in the film.
But crew members say it didn’t happen that way at all.
‘We vowed we were going to take it to our graves, that we weren’t going to say anything,’ Chief Engineer Mike Perry told CNN in 2010. ‘Then we hear this PR stuff about him giving himself up . . . and the whole crew’s like, “What?”‘
According to Perry and others, Phillips never said that. When the crew tried to swap a pirate who Perry had taken hostage for Phillips, the hijackers simply sped away with the captain.
The crew wouldn’t see their captain again until days later after a daring rescue by Navy SEALs, who found Phillips tied up but unharmed in the ship’s life boat.
Phillips would later pen a book on the ordeal, one that paints him in a far more positive light than do his former mates. He would also go on to meet President Obama in the Oval Office.
Director Paul Greengrass said the movie wasn’t intended to tackle every twist and turn but defended the film and said it hews to the truth.
However, Greengrass said: ‘Movies are not journalism. Movies are not history.’
‘He was real arrogant’: According to an anonymous crew member and a lawsuit against his company, it was Captain Phillips’ arrogant disregard for repeated warnings about pirates that got the ship hijacked
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2457875/He-sullen-arrogant-wanted-sail-Crew-member-says-captain-played-Tom-Hanks-new-blockbuster-Somali-pirate-film-hero.html#ixzz2hfR0Ek15 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook