“Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie,” says one crew member, who, for legal reasons, spoke with The Post anonymously. He worked very closely with Phillips on the Maersk Alabama and was alarmed by his behavior from the beginning. Phillips, he says, had a bad reputation for at least 12 years prior, known as a sullen and self-righteous captain.
“No one wants to sail with him,” he says.
After the hijacking, 11 crew members have sued Maersk Line and the Waterman Steamship Corp. for almost $50 million, alleging “willful, wanton and conscious disregard for their safety.” Phillips is a witness for the defense.
“The crew had begged Captain Phillips not to go so close to the Somali coast,” said Deborah Waters, the attorney who brought the claim. “He told them he wouldn’t let pirates scare him or force him to sail away from the coast.”