‘A Captain’s Duty’

Reading Time: < 1 minute

6729639A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs. and Dangerous Days at Sea”

By Richard Phillips with Stephen Tatty

Paperback, Hachette Books, 2011

We had the chance to meet Captain Richard Phillips at a community event this summer, so we took advantage of softcover, Kindle and Audible formats to finish it in time. Although the Tom Hanks movie “Captain Phillips” does a good job of telling the story (and Hanks does a good rendition of the captain), the book carries the audience through his personal back story, family life, and an hour-by-hour account of the adventure with the Somali pirates.

This account includes more detail of the events, some of which was probably cut from the movie for time restrictions. The reader leaves with a better understanding of the Merchant Marine service, commercial shipping and the complicated geopolitical world of international piracy.

In his talk, Phillips summarized three takeaways from his experience: 1) No situation is hopeless. 2) Any obstacle can be accomplished with teamwork. 3) Any team has a better chance of success with a plan and with practice to accomplish it.

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