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A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea

“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, the United States-flagged cargo ship which 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 hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. Thus began the tense five-day stand-off, 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 Captain’s Duty tells the life-and-death drama of the Vermont native who was held captive on a tiny lifeboat off Somalia’s anarchic, gun-plagued shores. A story of adventure and courage, it 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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Richard A. Madden says:

Good read – very accurate! There are very few books that I’ve “had” to have the first day out – this was one – and it didn’t disappoint! This book is a good window into the life of a merchant seaman in general and specifically into life on a ship running along the East coast of Africa. It was very interesting to understand the thought process of Capt Phillips while under attack and during his time as a hostage. Best wishes to Captain Phillips and his family! Rich Madden Chief Mate, Maersk…

Rick Shaq Goldstein "*SHAQ*" says:

RICK “SHAQ” GOLDSTEIN SAYS: “EITHER I’M GETTING OUT OF HERE ALIVE… OR THEY ARE. BUT NOT BOTH!” On April 8, 2009 four Somalian pirates took over an American flagged cargo ship by the name of “THE MAERSK ALABAMA”. The name of the Alabama’s captain was Richard Phillips… and this is the story of his life leading up to… and including the takeover of the ship… and what eventually became a fight for his life… when he deftly maneuvered the pirates… who the captain nicknamed “LEADER”… “TALL GUY”… “MUSSO”… and “THE-CRAZY-EYED-YOUNG-GUY”… into giving up the ship and its entire…

Wild Bill says:

The computer you are using is courtesy of the Merchant Marine This is a great book on several levels.1 – It shows you how much you depend on the Merchant Marine whether you know it or not. That TV from China did not get here by itself.2 – It shows what you can accomplish when you have a strong sense of duty, no matter the risks.3 – It shows that a SEAL team is not a group of people to be trifled with (I hope you already knew that)I read this book cover to cover in two sittings. My dad was in the USCG and the Merchant Marine…

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