The new Tom Hanks film Captain Phillips debuted over the weekend, chronicling the U.S. Navy's real-life rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian pirates.
The incident happened during Easter weekend in 2009, and former Navy Lt. Daniel Edwards, an Atlanta-area native, vividly recalls assisting in the operation.
"I think I was actually more nervous for Capt. Phillips," said Edwards. At the time, Edwards was an ensign aboard the USS Halyburton. He and his crew were 500 miles from Phillips' vessel, the Maersk Alabama, when the Navy received the distress call.
Edwards said they were able to catch up to Phillips and his Somalian captors within 48 hours.
"One of the pirates actually lifts up the port hole, to observe the situation," said Edwards, referring to the video he has from the day of the incident. Moments after that pirate looks out from the life boat where Phillips was being held captive, gunfire can be heard in the video.
"Nervous, yeah," said Edwards, talking about his feelings on the day of the operation. "Scared, no."
Edwards said they often encountered problems with pirates during his deployment, but that particular incident, he said, was one of the highlights of his life because of the way it ended.
Edwards said he felt the movie Captain Phillips was true to life, compared to what he experienced four years ago.
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