A Conversation with Captain Phillips


Between the deep blue seas off the horn of Africa and the Hollywood hills where film makers will tell his story, is Underhill Vermont,where Richard Phillips can be home and can be mostly private. Humble, modest, and a bit shy, 57 year old Richard Phillips loves his family and the water.

But in 2009 there was no joy, just terror.

5 days off the Somali coast..most spent in this small closed-in lifeboat..with pirates aiming ak-47’s at his head promising to kill him any moment Phillips kept focusing elsewhere in order to survive.

“If I had my wife and son and daughter in front of me and I was about to die I’d say what I’d think”

Andrea his wife of 25 years and an E.R. nurse at Fletcher Allen knew about piracy and ships held for ransom but when she heard her husband was being held *alone the pit in her stomach just bottomed out in a fantastic flash it was over navy seal sharpshooters killed or captured his torturers. Phillips was safe and free.

Then a journey back to Vermont

In fact in just a few days Phillips will be the captain of another freighter traveling pirate infested waters. Undeterred by the horrors of the past.

He says Vermont is like being at sea because

Seamen are self reliant and Vermonters are too.

Tom Hanks will play him in the upcoming film “Captain Phillips set for release in October. He says

“I¬† hope it isn’t completely Hollywoodized.¬† Hollywood changes things a bit I hope it stays as much as it can for the viewer to understand what did happen”

I’m afraid it’s focusing too much on me. I mean my crew was there and they

Phillips says “we’re stronger than even we realize, we spend our time worrying. We should just go ahead don’t quit don’t stop just plug away do the best you can and you’ll find most things come out positively we have to keep going stick to it and persevere”

Link to video

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