Sign up for our monthly Lifestyle newsletter for entertainment news, healthy living tips and more.
Politics & Society
by Sarah Mahoney, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2010 issue
If you call Captain Richard Phillips a hero—he did survive five days at sea with machine-gun-wielding Somali pirates—expect him to put up a fight. "I was just the idiot who got caught," he says. Most people would disagree. From the moment the crew of the Maersk Alabama noticed the bandits' boat approaching, Phillips's fast, focused thinking was critical. "By the time the pirates boarded, we had disabled the ship, secured the cargo, and got almost all the crew into safe rooms," he says. He then convinced the pirates that their best plan was to escort him off the ship. Rescued after five days, Phillips, 54, is back home in Vermont, writing a book and reflecting on what it means to be a hero. "The real heroes are the Navy SEALS who saved me," he insists.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
$300-$5,500 benefit on home purchases and sales
Members save 10% off the best available rate
No-fee personal loans
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at