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Web Edition

17 October 2013

Captain Richard Phillips Defended Against Frivolous Lawsuit
On April 8, 2009, the Maersk Alabama was hijacked by Somali pirates. Richard Phillips, the ship's master, wrote a book in 2010 named “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.” One of the ship's stewards, Richard Hicks, was one of the first to file a lawsuit against Waterman Steamship Corporation and Maersk Line Ltd for knowingly sending him into pirate-infested waters. Since then, eleven members of the crew have joined in filing the multi-million dollar lawsuit against the ship’s owner claiming Phillips’ actions had put them in harms’ way. The blockbuster movie “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks was released on October 11th. It has created a buzz about the U.S. Merchant Marine, U.S. food aid and, of course, about the crew's lawsuit. While a few articles mention the lawsuit in passing, the worst was written by Maureen Callahan for the New York Post (see below). Callahan claims Phillips is a fraud and calls him out about the facts, but she only uses anonymous quotes from people supposedly not able to speak because they are involved with the lawsuit. Callahan is the worst kind of sensational journalist. In the above interview, noted Admiralty Attorney and Author, Dr. Capt. John A.C. Cartner provides a critical analysis of the basis for claim against Maersk, questioning the motives of the attorney representing the suing crew members, who has stated the attack was the fault of Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips. (Phillips is not named in the lawsuit)

Crew members: ‘Captain Phillips’ is one big lie
By Maureen Callahan New York Port, October 13, 2013 | 3:34am

"Captain Phillips" star Tom Hanks with Capt. Richard Phillips Photo: AP Photo/StarPix, Dave Allocca

alleging “willful. The only problem.” he says. Left for him. the crew should cut the lights and power and lock themselves below deck. spoke with The Post anonymously. “The crew had begged Captain Phillips not to go so close to the Somali coast. All of this is the basis for “Captain Phillips. Kenya in 2009 Photo: AP Photo/Sayyid Azim “Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie. known as a sullen and self-righteous captain.” said Deborah Waters. “He didn’t want anything to do with it. says the crew member. Phillips’ crew.It’s made for Hollywood: the story of an average American family man.” starring Tom Hanks as the tit ular. is no hero. and the film is one big lie. his vessel overtaken by armed Somali pirates demanding ransom.” Phillips says he knows nothing about such a plan. 11 crew members have sued Maersk Line and the Waterman Steamship Corp. for legal reasons. Phillips. “He was real arrogant.” says one crew member. saving his crew by allowing himself to be removed from the boat and taken hostage. he says. “He told them he wouldn’t let pirates scare him or force him to sail away from the coast. real-life hero. After the hijacking.” says the crew member. The Maersk Alabama leaving the Port of Mombasa.” Phillips is a witness for the defense. . they say.” ‘REAL ARROGANT’ Phillips had taken command of the Maerskin late March 2009. because it wasn’t his plan. He worked very closely with Phillips on the Maersk Alabama and was alarmed by his behavior from the beginning. for almost $50 million. Should pirates get too close. the attorney who brought the claim. wanton and conscious disregard for their safety. “No one wants to sail with him. had a bad reputation for at least 12 years prior. captain of a cargo ship in dangerous waters. say some members of the real Capt. is none of it is true. Capt. was a detailed anti-piracy plan now used by all ships per the International Maritime Organization. Richard Phillips. who.

“I want everything closed. on board. In the film.” But is it true that he ordered the entire drill completed anyway? “Correct. and says the boat only picked up speed. even in port. These are drills we need to do once a year. Phillips was putting the crew through a fire drill.” In 2010. too. as Phillips. Hanks. “We said. Phillips denies this.” At first. the ransom demanded.” says this crew member. The crew didn’t know whom to fear more: the pirates or Phillips. There was nothing we could do. the dates and times they were assaulted. Phillips maintains this is a lie. their latitude and longitude. Phillips told CNN the Maersk was 300 miles off shore. ‘Do you want to stop the drill?’ They [the boats] were seven miles away. Hanks tells his crew — depicted as lazy coffee guzzlers who fall back on the security of their union-protected employment — that their job is to get the cargo ship from Point A to Point B in the shortest. “I couldn’t tell you exactly the miles. another crew member was tasked with keeping track of every ship in the region that had been attacked. Phillips ignored every missive and later admitted he didn’t share thes e warnings — though they were not sent exclusively to him. though Phillips has since rounded that number up to 300. says the crew member. Phillips ignored it. clearly chasing them. during the first attack. The Maersk was 235 miles off the coast. In fact. “Let’s tighten up security!” he orders. In the film.Over this three-week period. According to this crew member. says this crew member. We didn’t know the exact situation.” Phillips has admitted that.” Phillips tells The Post. ‘Oh.” Phillips says. he got seven e-mails about increased piracy off Somalia — each exhorting ships to move farther offshore by at least 600 miles. Two boats with pirates and he doesn’t give a s - -t. a chart was built. no. locked. “We had two pirate attacks over 18 hours. “The mate called up and said. and eight had been taken hostage. “I don’t know. On it were the names of each ship. When presented with this data. 16 container ships in the same region had been attacked by pirates. the Maersk veered off course by 180 degrees south — this was during the first attack. no — you’ve got to do the lifeboats drill. not just the one shown in the film. as two pirate boats came into view. it’s a security drill. no. That’s the kind of guy he is.” he says. “No. Using the e-mails. As the film opens. “And he goes. cheapest time possible. published reports from that time had the ship at 240. ‘You want us to knock it off and go to our pirate stations?’ ” the crew member recalls. on April 8. Meanwhile. a crew member says. . is seen assiduously tending to safety protocols.’ This is how screwed up he is.

For some of the crew. sleeping with his boots on and his flashlight by his side.. it was too much. It didn’t go down like that. .r. who has a small presence in the film. At 7 a. “We vowed we were going to take it to our graves. Most of this is accurately depicted in the movie — until. grabbing their guy and making off with Phillips in a Maersk lifeboat. “Phillips didn’t say what he wanted to do. While the remaining crew waited for the Navy to reach them. the pirates radioed the boat to stop. What’s the dif?” the crew member says. Phillips was rescued by SEAL Team Six.. which Phillips later said was a false narrat ive spread by the media. His book was packaged as the story of a man who gave himself up for his crew.’ One of the mates said. the pirates are here!’ The chief engineer said. He was hailed as an American hero. the moment of exchange. and Phillips ordered it back to its original route. He met with President Obama in the Oval Office and wrote a memoir. We’re on our own. we throw our hands in the air and say. Perry and third engineer John Cronan went to CNN. they sat and wondered: What just happened? Four days later.” The Maersk eventually made a narrow escape. He led most of the crew downstairs and locked them in. seizing him and using him as a bargaining chip for Phillips.” Perry told CNN in 2010. Today he tells The Post.” DEATH WISH Chief Engineer Mike Perry. . In 2009. was perhaps the most heroic. “The ship. he told ABC News he was taken after promising to show the pirates how to operate their escape boat. ‘What?’ ” “If you’re gonna shoot somebody. One of the crew mutinied — he refused to do it. he attacked the chief pirate. claiming he endangered all their lives. “I saw them. he disabled all systems. say several crew members: The pirates just reneged on the deal.m.“Yeah. “His plan [was]. in 130 degree heat. shoot me!” Hanks pleads in the film. waiting for the inevitable.” but remains vague on the exchange. instead going below deck. “was never actually taken. speaking of Phillips’ recklessness. when the Maersk crew tries to swap the pirate for Phillips. yet Phillips tells The Post things weren’t that dire. ‘Oh. The crew was on their own. Phillips and three other crew members were held at gunpoint. that we weren’t going to say anything. when the pirates come aboard. “I was already a hostage. Phillips had left the stern light on and the bridge open.’ ” They hid in the engine room.m.” says the crew member.” he says. stuff about him giving himself up . ‘We’re going downstairs and locking ourselves in. In their version. At 3 a. came the third and final attack: Four armed Somali pirates stormed the Maersk. . and they were closer than that. Phillips was the victim of a botched exchange. “Then we hear this p. seven miles. Perry has said. ‘Let’s go down. and the whole crew’s like. for 12 hours.

” he says dryly.” Waters said. laughing. 28 and opened the London Film Festival last Wednesday. all of which note the film is based on real events. and they’re angry. Not all of the crew cooperated with the movie. opening day. and the company is sending him e-mails. “Because he went through that area.” . The two men have walked the red carpet together.” he says.” he said.” The film won the opening-night slot at the New York Film Festival on Sept.” Hanks has appeared on the cover of Parade magazine with Phillips and the headline “The Making of an American Hero. “Real entertaining. “That’s what many of us officers were saying to ourselves. who is not part of the suit. It’s the film’s version of events — and Hanks’ version of Phillips — that will be immortalized.000 for their life rights by Sony and made to sign nondisclosure agreements — meaning they can never speak publicly about what really happened on that ship. By the end of Friday. he had seen the film. It has won raves. and those who did were paid as little as $5.” says the crew member.” “It is galling for them to see Captain Phillips set up as a hero. “It is just horrendous. and I know he saw that chart [of prior attacks] 50 times. agrees Phillips had a death wish: “Yeah.Perry said he and other crew believed Phillips had a perverse desire to be taken hostage. The crew member. “They told us they would change some stuff. “It’s a good movie.” In the run-up to Friday’s release of “Captain Phillips.