Captain Richard Phillips sat down with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show to talk about being taken hostage by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
The 53-year-old Maersk Alabama captain says he didn’t realize when the shots that saved his life rang out that they came from Navy Seals there to rescue him. He thought the pirates had turned on one another.
“I thought it was a disagreement,” Phillips told Lauer in the Today Show interview.
“I heard the shots,” Phillips said, adding he remembers “just being very scared and diving for the bottom of the deck, and just getting as low as I could.”
Next he heard “complete silence and then an American voice.”
Phillips was joined by his wife Andrea for the interview, and praises the military for their work.
“What I said when I came home is true. These SEALs and the Navy did an impossible job. They’re unbelievable people. We really owe it to the military for what they do day in and day out that we never even hear about. What they did was impossible,” he said.
View video of Matt Lauer’s interview with Richard Phillips below.