In "Captain Phillips," Tom Hanks plays Merchant marine Capt. Richard Phillips, right. Photo: Dave Allocca, AP
Hijacking survivor Richard Phillips, whose capture by Somali pirates inspired the Tom Hanks film “Captain Phillips,” will be the featured speaker at Beth El Synagogue’s "Heroes Among Us" series Sunday, Dec. 8.
In April 2009, the Merchant marine commander became the center of an extraordinary international drama when his cargo ship was captured off the Horn of Africa, the first hijacking of a U.S. vessel in more than 200 years. Phillips spent five days in a cramped lifeboat with desperate gunmen before he was rescued by the U.S. Navy. His 2010 book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea” inspired the film’s screenplay.
His appearance will include remarks followed by a moderated question and answer session.
A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Beth El Synagogue’s Minnesota National Guard unit adoption initiative, assisting the 849th MAC (Mobility Augmentation Company).
The synagogue’s series opened last year with CIA master of disguise Tony Mendez, of “Argo” fame, as the inaugural speaker.
Tickets are $36 - $360; $18 for those with valid military ID. Family members of deployed 849th MAC soldiers can attend this event free of charge by contacting FRG Leader Mary Reitsma at 320-894-8945 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and tickets are available online at www.besyn.org/captainphillips or by calling (952) 873-7300. Beth El Synagogue is located at 5225 W. Barry St., St. Louis Park.