Phillips to speak at Runnels graduation _lowres

Capt. Richard Phillips

Capt. Richard Phillips, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie “Captain Phillips,” will be the keynote speaker at Runnels High School’s commencement on May 12 in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.

Space is limited, so attendees must have a reserved ticket.

In April 2009, Phillips’ ship, the Maersk Alabama, was hijacked by Somali pirates who took Phillips hostage and attempted to negotiate a ransom for his release. Phillips was rescued when U.S. Navy SEAL snipers killed the pirates.

Phillips’ book about his experience, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea,” became an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated film released in 2013.

He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, a member of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots Union and a licensed American merchant mariner.