Neighbor says friends, family relieved that Captain Phillips is safe

04/13/09 10:23AM By Mitch Wertlieb
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AP Photo/Andy Duback
You don't have to live in Underhill to know the name of Captain Richard Phillips. For the past five days it seems everyone in the country-and beyond-was talking about the Maersk Shipping captain who offered himself up as a hostage to pirates off the Somali coast, in order to save his crew.

The tense stand-off with pirates ended yesterday when Navy Seals and other commandos rescued Phillips, killed three of his captors, and captured another.

For family and friends of Phillips, all that matters is that he's safe...and will be coming home.

Michael Willard is an Underhill neighbor of the Phillips. We spoke with him this morning, and he wants it made clear he's not speaking for the Phillips family...respecting their wishes to wait until they can be reunited with Richard before any decision is made on further public statements.

But Michael Willard is happy to speak about his friendship with Phillips, and how he's gotten to know the family over the years.

Click on ``Listen'' to hear the interview.

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