[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/24/getty.richard.phillips.jpg caption="Capt. Richard Phillips spent four days as a hostage after the attempted seizure of the Maersk Alabama. "]
By Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick
CNN Special Investigations Unit
The captain of the container ship Maersk Alabama ignored explicit warnings to stay well off the coast of Somalia before his capture by pirates in 2009, according to 16 of its 19 crew members.
"It's almost like he wanted to be captured," the ship's chief engineer, Mike Perry, told CNN in an interview to air on tonight's "AC360."
Capt. Richard Phillips spent four days as a hostage after the attempted seizure of the Maersk Alabama. After his rescue by U.S. Navy SEAL commandos, Phillips was lauded as a hero, and the publisher of his new book promoted him as a sea captain who risked his life by offering himself as a hostage "in exchange for the safety of the crew."
The 16 crew members have been far less public about the events, even as Phillips toured the country this spring to promote his book, "A Captain's Duty." But now they are telling a different version of what took place in the waters off the Somali coast in early April 2009.
Perry, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, was the chief engineer aboard the Alabama as it sailed from Oman, in the Persian Gulf, to Mombasa, Kenya, with a cargo of relief supplies. He told CNN Correspondent Drew Griffin that Phillips' decision "certainly warrants an investigation."
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with