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.