Transcript for The Secret Weapon That Helped Captain Phillips Survive While Being Attacked by Pirates at Sea
And next tonight, we take you inside a drama on the high seas. You will remember the american captain and his crew held at gun point by pirates in waters near somalia. Tonight the story is a new movie starring tom hanks. And abc's pierre thomas spoke to the real life captain about the secret that helped him survive. Reporter: In the movie, tom hanks plays captain richard phillips as the quick thinking hero who stood up to somali pirates. If you are going to shoot somebody, shoot me! Reporter: When the pirates took control of his ship and demanded a ransom, he offered himself as hostage to keep his crew from being killed. He was held at gun point in a life boat for four days. Four guys, knuckle heads with guns on up, nobody knows you're out here, I wasn't going to give into them. Reporter: Navy seals firing from a destroyer killed the pirates. Phillips learned to handle crisis at sea training here at the maritime institutes of technology in maryland. The institute's $30 million training simulator recreates any port in the world, storms at sea and even pirate attacks. Stand by for maneuvers. Reporter: He took the helm to show trainees how to fight off pirates. They are coming alongside, they are about 300 yards off now. Reporter: Four years ago, basic tactics weren't enough to stop the pirates boarding the ship. Some crew members are suing the line saying phillips should have kept the ship further off the coast away from pirates. Does it hurt you some of the crew members think that? That's the farthest I've been away from somalia. If you don't want to be with pirates you need another job. Reporter: Captain phillips will be back on the job on the high seas even after the movie credits roll. Pierre thomas, abc news, maryland. And there was a harrowing
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.