BOISE -- A well-known merchant mariner held hostage at sea by Somali pirates in 2009 will tell his story in Boise Tuesday night.

Captain Richard Phillips is the featured speaker at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce's 130th Annual Gala dinner.

His talk comes just days before a movie will be released nation-wide based on his capture and survival. KTVB spoke with Richards over the phone ahead of his speech.We asked about the new movie based on his experience at sea.


Captain Phillips was sailing the Maersk Alabama in 2009 with a crew of 18 men when pirates forced their way on board and hijacked the ship.

We deal with piracy. It's an ongoing concern, said Phillips, who still works as a merchant mariner.
Phillips went on to say that his crew was unarmed. He told us that's the only ship he's been on that didn't have a weapon of some sort on board.

In an effort to save his crew, Phillips offered himself up as a hostage and he was taken by the Somali pirates on a covered life boat.

It's a very out-of-control feeling, he said.

The world watched as the situation played out on television networks around the globe.

After five days of terror, A group of Navy SEALs were able to launch a coordinated strike and rescue Captain Phillips.

We are all truly stronger than even we know, added Phillips. He has since written a book about his ordeal and travels extensively telling his story.


Now, his story of survival will light up the big screen. Columbia Pictures will release 'Captain Phillips' the movie in theaters nationwide this week.

The actual event was a lot worse than it was portrayed on the movie, so it wasn't too hard for me to watch it, said Phillips after watching a screening of the new movie.

Tom Hanks plays the lead role. He and the real Captain Phillips have met a few times.

He is a good actor and yeah, I think he did do a good job, said Phillips.


Captain Phillips told us he's getting used to the attention his story has received and looks forward to sharing his story of survival with people in Boise. He told us his speech on Tuesday will focus on perseverance and finding inner strength in tough situations.

Things will eventually turn around, and I do believe that, said Captain Phillips.

The film opens this Friday in theaters across the country, including here in Boise. If you'd like to see Captain Phillips speak in person, tickets are still available for the gala, but they're going fast.

Click here for more information on the event and how to purchase tickets.

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