In past blog entries, I have mentioned my survival of the Andrea Doria tragedy, and my resulting passion for safety at sea. My recent writing has concentrated on safety precautions, safety equipment, and current rules and regulations, as well as commentary on current sea-related news from around the world. Currently, the on-going and increasingly prevalent piracy of Somalian waters has taken center stage, and my discussions have explored what possible steps could be taken to increase safety on the seas, especially that of cruise ships. I want to shift gears just a bit here as we head into the weekend. I want to talk about my other passion—that of heroes at sea; particularly those of the piracy saga surrounding the Maersk-Alabama.
Much of the media attention has been focused on Captain Richard Phillips, who bravely offered himself to pirates who seized his ship in exchange for the safety of his nineteen crewmen. Certainly, he deserves every bit of acknowledgment he receives; I am in way suggesting his “hero” title inappropriate. But I want to point out the other less-often recognized heroes: the US Navy SEALS who rescued Captain Phillips; President Obama, who gave the orders to use force against the pirates if Captain Phillips’ life was in immediate danger; the nineteen crew members aboard the Maersk-Alabama, who bravely followed their captain’s orders; and finally, the families of Captain Phillips and his crew, who always support their loved ones at sea, and now offer special love and support in the aftermath of their traumatic piracy experience.
Captain Richard Phillips is surely the newest addition to list of American Heroes, but the heroism in his story doesn’t end with him. He is only the beginning. I am sure the brave but humble Captain would agree that when adversity prevails, opportunity unveils humanity’s strength.
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