He was sullen, arrogant, and no one wanted to sail with him: Crew member says captain played by Tom Hanks in new blockbuster Somali pirate film was no hero

  • 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

By  Joshua Gardner and Ap Reporter

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 

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 

‘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) 

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 

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 

‘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

One thought on “He was sullen, arrogant, and no one wanted to sail with him: Crew member says captain played by Tom Hanks in new blockbuster Somali pirate film was no hero

  1. How did Chief Engineer Mike Perry know what was going on with Phillips and the pirates up on the Bridge when he was far below in the engine room? Why is he speaking rather than the 1st Mate and the other crewman who were on the bridge.

    The film does bring out that the course taken by the Maersk Alabama was indeed much closer to the coast than the prescribed buffer of six hundred miles. But even so – Phillips knew he was within the buffer, but a mileage buffer is hardly a plan.

    .

    Like

Comments are closed.