Everyone loves a good pirate movie—and in the coming weeks, millions of Americans are expected to head to the theater to watch Captain Phillips. The movie, which claims to be based on true events, tells the story of a Somali pirate attack on a U.S. cargo ship off of the coast of Africa. While the movie tells the story of a bad luck and an unlikely hero, many crew members from the Maersk Alabama tell a tale of negligence and life-changing harm.
The crew tells their side of the story
There simply wouldn’t be a pirate movie at all if the owners of the vessel and the employers of the crew had put aside profit margins and heeded multiple international warnings. In the days before the hijacking, Somali pirates had been terrorizing other boats and making their threat known to all. Also in the days before the hijacking, NATO and the U.S. Maritime Association had released warnings to all vessels to stay 600 miles away from Somalia’s coast.
Despite these red flags, and without heightened security, the Maersk Alabama was within 240 nautical miles of the African coast when pirates attacked. The crew was locked in a room without food or water for ten hours and their lives were threatened. Although Captain Phillips took admirable action during the traumatizing event, did the event have to take place at all?
Now, in the wake of the incident, eleven members of the twenty-person crew have filed lawsuits against the ship owners, Maersk Line Limited, as well as the crew’s employers, Waterman Steamship Corporation.
The trial date is set
Two of the crew members have already settled, but Brian Beckcom will go to court in early December to fight for the rights of nine of the crew members.
Finding justice for mistreated maritime workers
At VB Attorneys, we fight for the rights of injured crewmembers on ships worldwide. To learn more about our legal services, or to tell your story to our lawyers, call us today at 877-724-7800.