Even when Hollywood paints a film as “based on a true story,” viewers should be aware that sometimes Hollywood’s version of the “truth” opts to omit or gloss over certain key facts of a story. A new movie, Captain Phillips, is a prime example.
The film is allegedly based upon a 2009 pirate attack off the coast of Somalia. In the movie, the ship’s captain is portrayed as a hero who risks his own life in order to secure the safety of his crew. It fails, however, to reveal certain details relating to the event that shows Captain Phillips, Maersk Line Limited, and Waterman Steamship Corporation, in fact, placed the lives of the ship’s crew in danger before the attack ever occurred. How exactly did Captain Phillips risk the lives of his crew? The following are six examples:
- Captain Phillips willingly ignored at least two separate attacks by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, each occurring within two days of the attack on his ship.
- Captain Phillips disregarded a warning issued by official maritime safety groups to stay at least 600 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia due to known pirate activity in the region. The warning specifically noted that pirates were taking ships and their crew hostage.
- Captain Phillips sailed his ship within 250 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.
- The ship’s owner, Maersk Line Limited, apparently gave official approval of Captain Phillips’ decision to take this dangerous route.
- Despite the protestation of the crew relating to the planned dangerous route, Captain Phillips stated that he would not let pirates scare him or force him to sail further from the coast.
- Sailing within the recommended safety area would have added an extra day to the trip by using extra fuel and manpower. Maersk Line Limited and Waterman Steamship Corporation, the crew members’ employer, were aware of and approved of Captain Phillips’ plan to take the ship through dangerous territory in order to eliminate those added costs.
The real heroes of the pirate attack are the Navy personnel who bailed Captain Phillips out of his poor decisions and the brave crewmembers who--unlike Captain Phillips--actually fought back against the pirates.
VB Attorneys are spearheading the fight against Maersk Line Limited and Waterman Steamship Corporation to get the true facts out and to defend the honor of the brave crewmembers who risked their lives.
For more information about how our team of knowledgeable legal professionals can help you after an offshore injury, contact our office today at 877-724-7800. We are pleased to offer a completely free, no-obligation case evaluation.