A true captain

The cliche of a ship’s captain being the last to step off the slanted, sinking deck into the lifeboats; the person who “goes down with the ship.”  The stand-tall, imperious embodiment of leadership personified. Remember Captain Sullenberger walking the flooded aisle of his Airbus as it sank gently into the January Hudson? Checking twice for straggler passengers?

Now in the Gulf of Aden we have Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduate, Captain Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vermont selflessly offering himself to a band of Somali pirates so the crew of the Maersk Alabama could go free.

A family member told the Cape Cod Times:

“”What I understand is that he offered himself as the hostage,” she said. “That is what he would do. It’s just who he is and his response as a captain.”

Imagine the scene as the desperate pirates sit in a lifeboat, out of gas, floating listlessly in water and this arrives, the U.S.S. Bainbridge?

Break out the Depends.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

4 thoughts on “A true captain”

  1. Captain Phillips and his first officer continue the tradition of great New England Seafarers!
    Mebbe it’s time to offer a second major at the Mass Maritime Academy– “Counter Piracy.”
    It’s great that the crew, under the command of the First Officer took their vessel back.

  2. If everybody over there stays calm and nobody gets crazy, Capt. Phillips should be okay. After all, we hold 51 cards in this deck. The only reason those yahoos are still alive is because he’s still unharmed.

    As an aside, this Maine Maritime Academy grad’s hat is off to those fine officers from Mass. Maritime Academy and to the school itself for the great job they do. I would (and have) encourage any young person who seeks a career at sea to apply.

  3. I was very gratified to see that the captain was rescued and the bastards who kidnapped him were killed.

  4. Those SEAL snipers rock. Sure, they weren’t mile+ distance shots but from one bobbing ship to another? Three shots, three kills. Sweeeeeet

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