There is little news. This story is just breaking. The initial news is that Scott and Jean Adams yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates with the Americans onboard. An American Navy warship was shadowing the craft and heard gunshots on the yacht. The Adams and their friends, Robert Riggle and Phyllis Mackay (or Macay) are dead, killed by the pirates onboard. The Navy moved in and found the Americans, along with “more than a dozen pirates. Some of the hijackers are dead, and others captured. More information as available.
While awaiting more details of the deaths of these four Americans, the MailOnlineUK is questioning whether the hijacking and deaths are retaliation for the sentence handed down just days ago for the hijacker of the Maersk Alabama.
Update 6:30 pm CDT: All the details are still not known, but here is the latest.
There were 19 pirates. On Monday one pirate boarded the USS Sterret for “negotiations.” For some unreported reason, he did not return to the Adams Yacht, the Quest. On Tuesday a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired at the Sterret. It missed, and then gunfire was heard coming from the Quest. Fifteen Navy special-ops boarded the yacht and found Mr. and Mrs. Adams dead, along with their friends, Ms. Mackay and Mr. Riggle.
The pirates seemed to arguing about the best way to proceed before they fired on the the Sterret. After the grenade was fired, some pirates came topside immediately and raised their hands in surrender. Just as quickly, the gunfire was heard.
Unfortunately, we now have 15 Somali pirates in custody, and the taxpayer will bear the burden of their trial in a civilian court, when the truth is each hijacking is an act of war.
The American Navy has pleaded with ship owners to stick to designated shipping lanes when passing through the Arabian Sea, where pirates continue to strike with impunity, despite the presence of dozens of warships. The Navy sometimes provides escorts for convoys and the ships travel in numbers, for safety.
“But we can’t track everything, we can’t track everybody, it’s too large of an area,” said Bob Prucha, a spokesman for the military’s Central Command, on Saturday. He added that it was “common knowledge” how dangerous those waters were.
Mr. Stolnitz said Mr. Adam mentioned that he was aware of the risks of traveling through these waters. Mr. Adam said he had a device on his boat called a SPOT communicator, which can transmit its location to their Web site. During this particular journey, Mr. Stolnitz said, Mr. Adam was going to turn it off, because he had heard that pirates may be able to track the device.
Update 8:26 am CDT: CBS now has a report confirming the deaths.
Mr. and Mrs. Adams had a website where they chronicled their time at sea. See it here.