The recently released Hollywood movie, Captain Phillips, held its Dutch premiere in a very special way. At the same time as the film was being shown in the Tuschinski theatre in Amsterdam, the movie was also being screened on the flight deck of the EU Naval Force flagship, HNLMS Johan de Witt during their during logistics visit to Muscat, Oman.
The helicopter deck was turned into a movie theatre to enable the crew of HNLMS Johan de Witt to watch the movie, which tells the story of Richard Phillips, the captain of MV Maersk Alabama, who was held hostage by Somali pirates after they pirated the American flagged ship in April 2009. Member of the Netherlands media were also invited on board.
Just before the movie started in Amsterdam and Muscat, the Force Commander of Atalanta, Commodore Peter Lenselink, gave a live interview that was broadcast in to the Tuschinski theatre.Using a Skype connection, the host of the theatre interviewed Commander Lenselink about the premiere and the EU Naval Force’s counter piracy operation off Somalia. The Force Commander emphasized the success of Operation Atalanta but warned that piracy is not over yet: “If we leave the area now, the pirates will come back.” The words of the Force Commander were received with big applause in Amsterdam.
Speaking about the event, the commanding officer of HNLMS Johan de Witt, Captain Frank Foreman said:
“This premiere was a chance for my crew to have some rest and recuperation after a number of weeks at sea and after 3 months in the mission. I believe that the evening was more than just watching a movie. This movie contributes to the awareness of Somali piracy and the misery caused to the innocent crews and their families.”
HNLMS Johan de Witt sailed from Muscat with members of the Netherlands media on board, enabling them to report from the front line at sea on the EUNAVFOR mission and results of Operation Atalanta.
Press Release, November 05, 2013; Image: Navy