Last year, Richard Phillips, then the captain of a U.S.-flagged ship, the Maersk Alabama, was freed after being held captive for five days by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Phillips details that harrowing experience in a new book, "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea."
"He endangered our lives," chief engineer Mike Perry told the New York Post. "He's not a hero -- he's a villain."
The Post wasn't able to reach Phillips for comment.
The crew members' gripes also seemed aimed at the captain's newfound fame. Phillips' dramatic rescue by Navy SEALs, who killed several pirates, brought public attention to him and even a Hollywood deal.
In the meantime, as piracy off the coast of Africa continues to grow, a top U.S. military official warned last week in an article by the American Forces Press Service that commercial ships can't always count on the military to protect them.
"We could put a World War II fleet of ships out there, and we still wouldn't be able to cover the whole ocean," said Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa and of NATO's Allied Joint Task Force Command Naples.