4 Americans on yacht hijacked by pirates killed, U.S. military says
U.S. forces say they were monitoring the S/V Quest for about three days before pirates engaged them.
February 22nd, 2011
09:24 AM ET

4 Americans on yacht hijacked by pirates killed, U.S. military says

[Updated at 9:24 a.m.] Negotiations were under way to free the hostages when gunfire erupted aboard the pirated vessel, a statement from U.S. Central Command said.

"As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors.  Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds," the statement said.

A reaction force boarding the S/V Quest "was engaged by pirates," two of whom died during the confrontation. Thirteen other pirates were captured, along with two who were already in the custody of U.S. forces, according to central command.

Two other pirates were already dead when U.S. forces boarded the S/V Quest, the statement said. In all, 19 pirates are believed to have been involved in the hijacking.

U.S. forces had been monitoring the S/V Quest for about three days.

An aircraft carrier, a guided-missile cruiser and two guided-missile destroyers composed the reaction force. The U.S. Navy ships were in the region to conduct "maritime security operations" and provide support for U.S. operations, the statement said.

[Posted at 9:08 a.m. ET] Four U.S. citizens on a yacht hijacked by pirates last week are dead, a defense official with knowledge of military activities in the region confirmed Tuesday.

A U.S. Navy warship and helicopters were trailing the boat, the S/V Quest, which was allegedly hijacked by Somali pirates on Friday, U.S. military official said. Early Tuesday, an official said the vessel was less than two days away from Somali coast.

Owners Jean and Scott Adam and two other people on board, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, had been traveling with yachts participating in the Blue Water Rally since their departure from Phuket, Thailand, rally organizers said Sunday.

The group, which organizes long-distance group cruises, said the S/V Quest broke off on February 15 after leaving Mumbai, India, to take a different route.

Read CNN's full coverage of 4 Americans killed by pirates
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Filed under: Crime • Pirates • Somalia
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Rich Fredericks

    Find the pirates and kill them, it's all they know!

    February 22, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cherfn

    With the most recent death of the Americans by Somali pirates greater action must be taken by the nations. They cannot be allowed to hijack oil tankers, private yachts, etc. Countries must get together and provide better protection or use military force to stop this practice.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. joe conservative

    Piracy was wiped out partially by the US in the last century. Pirates were simply hung at sea when caught. Do you think we can stop this scourge without a return to this tactic?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • WarWeasle

      You said America, I think you meant Great Brittan. America did not keep a huge bloated navy until AFTER World War 2.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. e rod

    why are we still hearing about pirates n 2011? technology exists to thwart these guys, why isn't it being used?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike McIsaac

    Our milatary needs to take aggressive action agaist Somalia!!!!!!!This has to stop!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. david

    Alan, the pirates were on the highjacked vessel. If they blow that up then they kill the hostages. This isn't Speed.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • JKM

      Nobody said blow it up. We have special forces to go in and rescue hostages. Yes, at sea, too. They're called Seals.

      N. Korea recently went in and got their hostages. FRANCE recently went in and got theirs. Russia tracked down the ship and saw that it never sailed again.

      This. is. not. right.

      February 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paul

    Exactly. Now that there are no Americans on board, why is the ship still sailing? At least take down the mast and blow off the rudder, so they can't go anywhere. Why wait?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sad

    Wonder where the Navy Seal Snipers were for this??

    February 22, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dallas

    I agree with Alan; If the Defense Dept has confirmed that the four kidnapp victims are are in fact dead, why then doesn't the US Navy blow all the vessels out of the water?
    International law still allows for death to pirates on the high seas

    February 22, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. RC1123

    They can't blow them to h3ll, becouse that would be a violation of their human rights ........ now if they were to drop napalm on every square inch of Somalia, that might get rid of the infestation

    February 22, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Mohamed

      It is sad to read some of these comments.Killing these 15 pirates does not solve the problem. It adds fuel to the fire. These pirates should be captured, investigated n find where they originate from, who finances them and so on. Destroying somalia is stupid idea. Reading comments like thesr makes people angry and hate even more! Be wise people.

      February 22, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dave Crandall

    "Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute..." Wasn't that the mantra our country used to recite when talking about piracy? And where are the "shores of Tripoli" now? It is unthinkable for this crime to have happened while a United States vessel stood by and watched! There is now the blood of four martyrs on the hands of an administration who yesterday said they were "considering" a proper response.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sergio Chi

    They should blow them pirates to pieces.......

    February 22, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Greg

    Enough of this nonsense! The West knows exactly where the Pirates home base is in Somolia. Vaporize it, and everyone in it! The USA better grow a pair or this kind of thing will only get worse! By the way, the pirates are Muslim. You are damn right that means something!

    February 22, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    They were explicitly told not to take that route because of pirates and paid the ultimate price.
    I only hope their intentional disregard for their own safety was worth it.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. De66ie

    I just don't understand why there is nothing being done by the government with these awful people!

    February 22, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
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