Captain of USS Boxer involved in rescue of real-life Captain Phillips speaks about new film

Captain Phillips is played by Tom Hanks

SAN DIEGO - The new film Captain Phillips, which stars Tom Hanks, has brought in $82 million in the four weeks since its release.

For the first time, the man who was part of the rescue of the real Captain Phillips is talking about whether Hollywood got it right.

In 2009, the cargo ship Maersk Alabama was stormed by four Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Richard Phillips was taken hostage in a small red lifeboat.

"That was the mission to keep the lifeboat out and start negotiating with the pirates," said Capt. Mark Cedrun, who led the USS Boxer, which is based in San Diego. The ship was assigned to the counter-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden.

"I think initially when we were going down, the adrenaline was pumping but when we got on station everybody got their game faces on, it functioned like a well-oiled machine," said Cedrun.

The USS Boxer, two other U.S. Navy ships and Navy SEAL Team 6 surrounded the lifeboat. The SEALs shot and killed three of the pirates and rescued Phillips. He was brought aboard the Boxer.

"He came in and I went up and I hugged the guy, said 'Welcome aboard" and took him down to our ship's medical department where he was looked at by my ship's doctor," said Cedrun.

Cedrun said he figured Phillips would be starving after several days at sea with no food and little water.

"My supply officer ... had a steak dinner ready for him, so I go in there and I said 'Hey we got some food for you?" said Cedrun. "He said, "You know I'm not hungry."

Cedrun said he thought about how Phillips is from Vermont.

"So I thought about it ... 'Hey, you want a beer?'" Cedrun said. "And he said 'Can I have two?' So we brought him a whole cooler of beer.'"

Cedrun said he felt the movie was spot-on when it came to how U.S. Navy Sailors, SEALs and Marines worked together to rescue Phillips.

" I was proud, being able to actually execute a mission, be successful at that mission ... have American pride on the world stage, it was just fantastic," said Cedrun.

Cedrun told 10News when his sailors returned to the U.S., the entire crew of Maersk Alabama, a civilian ship, was on the ship's rails rendering honors to the USS Boxer.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments