"I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans." -President Barack Obama It was just another day on the job for fifty-three-year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, a United States-flagged cargo ship that was carrying, among other things, food and agricultural materials for the World Food Program. That all changed when armed Somali pirates boarded the ship. The pirates didn't expect the crew to fight back, nor did they expect Captain Phillips to offer himself as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. Thus began the tense five-day standoff, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue when U.S. Navy SEALs opened fire and picked off three of the captors. "It never ends like this," Captain Phillips said. And he's right. A story of adventure and courage, A Captain's Duty provides the intimate details of this high-seas hostage-taking-the unbearable heat, the death threats, the mock executions, and the escape attempt. When the pirates boarded his ship, Captain Phillips put his experience into action, doing everything he could to safeguard his crew. And when he was held captive by the pirates, he marshaled all his resources to ensure his own survival, withstanding intense physical hardship and an escalating battle of wills with the pirates. This was it: the moment where training meets instinct and where character is everything. Richard Phillips was ready.
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Captain Richard Phillips is a 1979 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and became captain of the MV Maersk Alabama in 2009.From AudioFile:
Captain Richard Phillips's modest first-person account of the 2009 capture of his cargo vessel, the MAERSK ALABAMA, celebrates the little-understood and even-less-appreciated responsibilities of the U.S. Merchant Marines. Former broadcast journalist George Wilson provides an authoritative, dramatic, and at times, appropriately humorous tone to the story of the captain and crew as they face off against cutthroat Somali pirates. Wilson's precise delivery is true to the author's style and easily holds the listener's attention. A thumbnail sketch of Phillips's early years provides an effective backdrop for the terrifying seizure of his vessel and the gripping days that followed. Wilson's upbeat narrative style also provides an enlightening look at the sophisticated technology on the world's ocean-going vessels. W.A.G. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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