Richard Phillips captured by pirates in 2009
Richard Phillips, whose real-life ordeal as a hostage of Somali pirates was the subject of the movie “Captain Phillips,” has been selected to address graduates at Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s commencement.
Phillips, a graduate of the college, will also receive an honorary degree at the June 21 ceremony.
Phillips was captain of the commercial vessel Maersk Alabama when it was captured by pirates in 2009. He was held in a lifeboat for several days before Navy SEAL snipers killed three pirates.
School president Rear Adm. Richard Gurnon also invited actor Tom Hanks — who portrayed Phillips in the movie — to graduation, but due to scheduling conflicts he couldn’t make it.
Gurnon tells the Cape Cod Times that Phillips has a “quiet confidence” and “genuine appeal to young people.”