From: Charlie Hartig
Office of the Mayor
Norfolk, VA (MMD Newswire) October 29, 2009 -- For the first time since his dramatic rescue at sea, Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama will publicly thank the commanding officer and crew of the USS Bainbridge during a ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia on November 19.
The ceremony will take place on the fantail of guided missile cruiser at 2 p.m. The USS Bainbridge will be moored on the downtown Norfolk waterfront.
The Maersk container ship was captured by rogue pirates off the coast of Somalia on April 8. Captain Phillips offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. For four days, while the world watched, Phillips was held captive in a 25-foot lifeboat.
On Easter Sunday, April 12, Navy SEALs positioned on the fantail of the USS Bainbridge opened fire and killed three of the pirates who were holding Phillips hostage. Phillips was later rescued by the crew of the guided-missile destroyer.
On the evening of November 19, Captain Phillips will receive the inaugural National Maritime Valor Award from the Nauticus National Maritime Center.
Captain Phillips' visit will correspond with the November 21 opening at Nauticus of the National Geographic exhibit, "Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship," and the adjunct exhibit created by Nauticus and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum entitled, "Piracy Today: Terror on the High Seas." "Piracy Today" features the actual lifeboat from which Captain Phillips was rescued. The lifeboat is being loaned to Nauticus and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum from the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Florida.
Limited interviews with Captain Phillips and Commander Castellano may be available on the day of the event and must be prearranged.
Media inquiries should be directed to:
Office of the Mayor of Norfolk
757 664 4013
757 373 0996