Captain Richard Phillips to Recognize Local Heroes

Mar 11, 2014

Captain Phillips (right) with Commander Frank Castellano of the USS Bainbridge after being rescued.
Credit Wikipedia

The cargo ship captain who survived his ship’s takeover by Somali pirates in 2009 will be presenting awards to local heroes on Cape Cod. 

Captain Richard Phillips wrote a book about the experience of being taken hostage by pirates called A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.  It was turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks, called Captain Phillips. Despite all the attention, he says he’s not a hero.

“I think the crew and I just did the best we could," he told WCAI this week. 

"I think it’s just the situation that one gets put in, whether by design or by fate, and how we react and what we do during that situation. I think everyone has the strength to be hero. It’s all within us."

Phillips has ties to Massachusetts. He’s a Winchester native who graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay in 1979. Now he lives in Vermont. 

He’ll be handing out awards to more than two dozen people at the annual Red Cross Heroes Breakfast in Hyannis on March 28th. 

The recipients include local coast guard crew members, police, lifeguards, volunteers, and good Samaritans. Phillips says the thing they have in common is that they didn’t give up when faced with adversity.