Merchant Marine Captain Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by Somali pirates for five days in 2009 and was the subject of the movie Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, will speak at Viterbo at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.
Phillips will present “Steering Your Ship Through Rough Waters: Lessons on Leadership from Captain Phillips.”
General admission tickets are on sale now. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. Phillips’ presentation is the opening event of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s fall lecture series.
For five days in April 2009, the world watched as Captain Phillips became the center of an international drama when the ship he was commanding, the MV Maersk Alabama, was captured by Somali pirates and he became their hostage. The Maersk Alabama, which was carrying food and agricultural materials for the World Food Program, was the first U.S. ship hijacked in 200 years.
During the ordeal, Captain Phillips showed remarkable courage by offering himself as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. The tense five-day standoff ended when U.S. Navy SEALS launched a daring operation in which three pirates were killed and Captain Phillips was rescued.
The story was the subject of the Academy Award-nominated major motion picture, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks in the title role.
Captain Phillips is the author of the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea, which details his incredible experience and dramatic rescue. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and a member of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots Union. He is a registered Merchant Mariner.
“I share this country’s admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew,” said U.S. President Barack Obama. “His courage is a model for all Americans.”