48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
The computer you are using is courtesy of the Merchant Marine,
This review is from: A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea (Hardcover)
This is a great book on several levels.
1 - It shows you how much you depend on the Merchant Marine whether you know it or not. That TV from China did not get here by itself.
2 - It shows what you can accomplish when you have a strong sense of duty, no matter the risks.
3 - It shows that a SEAL team is not a group of people to be trifled with (I hope you already knew that)
I read this book cover to cover in two sittings. My dad was in the USCG and the Merchant Marine so I connected with it right away. I also had a good friend that went to Massachusetts Maritime Academy before he died much too young. When I read Captain Phillips book, I could hear the New England accent and my friend's laugh. Just from the picture on the cover you get the idea that this is a guy when he tells you something you probably should listen. He was not operating with false bravado, nor was he trying to show off - he really was performing A Captain's Duty. He also generously doles out praise for his crew, the Navy, the SEAL team, and everybody that said prayers for him and his family. This is the story of a remarkably composed guy thrown into an awful situation and what he was able to accomplish by not giving in to fear and panic. I hope two things after reading this book. One is that I am never in a situation that resembles anything like this and second, if I am that I can be at least half as composed as Captain Phillips.
He does not claim to be a hero, he does not claim to have done anything that anyone else could not do - as a matter of fact he points out that anybody could do what he did if put in the same situation. I beg to differ, but I will take him at his word. It is good to know that there are still a few REAL MEN left. I cannot count myself in that group, I wish I could, but I have never been tested to the level of Captain Phillips.
I was left with one question after reading this book. WHY are the Merchant ships thrown out to sea with nothing more than utility knives and flares to protect themselves? This cargo will most likely be in a LOCKED warehouse when it gets to the States, some of it may even be guarded by armed guards - why would you just put it out to sea with no protection against heavily armed bandits?
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Initial post: May 19, 2010 11:24:32 AM PDT
Great final question! What kind of perverted culture are we that we value stuff we consume and discard much more than the lives of those humans who deliver all this stuff to us?
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