Captain, Family Laud Military 'Heroes'
Colleagues and friends praise Phillips' high-stakes performance
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Apr 14, 2009 6:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Richard Phillips has been hailed a hero, but the rescued captain is downplaying his own role and praising his military saviors, reports the Boston Globe. "I'm just a small part in this. The real heroes in this story are the US military. They are the most dedicated, professional, and capable group around," said Phillips in a statement read by his wife, Andrea, yesterday at a press conference. Phillips added her own thanks to his rescuers: "You all just gave me the best Easter ever."

Colleagues, however, are happy to give Phillips the credit. He used his risk analysis training to find the safest path out of a dangerous situation, said one: "I honestly believe that Rich, for all his capabilities, was the right person to be put in that position." Meanwhile, maritime students at Phillips' alma mater have watched the events with admiration. "You can't let something like this scare you from doing your job," said one.