Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Devastated by the senseless murder of crew of S/Y Quest!!

As everyone probably already knows from news flashes, owners Scott and Jean Adam and their crew, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, were murdered today aboard captured S/Y Quest by the Somali pirates.

Per Associated Press news article:  "Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander of U.S. naval forces for the Central Command, said in a televised briefing that the violence on Tuesday started when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired from the yacht at the USS Sterett, a guided-missile destroyer which was 600 yards away. The RPG missed and almost immediately afterward small arms fire was heard coming from the yacht, Fox said............Negotiations had been under way to try to win the release of the two couples on the pirated vessel Quest when the gunfire was heard, the U.S. military said. "

So, the pirates fired a RPG toward the guided-missil destroyer and then immediately shot and killed the 4 hostages.

We had so hoped the US Navy would be able to rescue them, but our hopes were failing as Quest got closer and closer to Somalia.  This might sound cold-hearted, but we figured that the Navy would act even if the perfect opportunity to save all 4 hostages did not present itself.  They could not let that yacht reach Somalia and let the 4 Americans be taken ashore.  Who knows what horrors would have awaited the hostages there or for how long.

The 13 pirates captured alive deserve the death penalty!!!!  They do not deserve to live out their lives in a comfortable US prison.  Frankly, I wonder why they were taken alive in the first place.

We are torn as to whether we should notify others we know who are now sailing across the Indian Ocean about what has happened.  We feel they should know.  But, on the other hand, there is nothing they can do except continue sailing forward or turn around and return.  Either way, they will all be in danger of pirates.  Would knowing simply cause additional stress to them in an already extremely stressful situation.   The pirates are now striking within 300 miles off the coast of India, and all the boats we know our there are well past that point; so they are all well into pirate waters.  "Damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation for them now.  We pray that no more yachts are captured.  We also pray that someone or some government or some group of governments finds a way to stop this piracy.  The Somalis cannot be allowed to plunder the entire northern Indian Ocean and deny peaceful passage of commercial and private vessels.

Our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Scott Adam, Jean Adam, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle.  They did nothing to deserve such deaths. 


  1. We send our condolences as well, and our hearts our heavy. The violence and senseless killing has to stop! Hopefully their deaths will at least bring attention to this terrible situation and something will be done to stop this in the future! I guess if your cruising friends want to know what's going on with piracy, they'll find out on their own. Tough situation to be in, but there is no right or wrong.. just go with your gut.

  2. I truely do not minimize the senseles death of these four individuals what so ever. But I do applaud you for applying common sense and good judgement in your decision to avoid this unsettled part of the world as you continue your journey. In many of our own hometowns we know of certain areas we would not allow ourselves to wonder off into because of un-certainty. To expect or hope the international community will somehow clean this situation up is un-realistic. Unrest, right or wrong, has been a part of the fabric of human life since the dawn of time. We simply need to trim our sails and change course from time to time.

  3. Ex-Sailor said: "To expect or hope the international community will somehow clean this situation up is un-realistic."

    IMHO, this is EXACTLY the situation that requires action by the International community -- as this affects all countries worldwide. Literally billions of dollars of commerce annually is affected by the actions of Somali pirates in today's world. The world as a whole cannot allow the Somalis to deny the entire Northern Indian Ocean to ships. The problem has been exacerbated by out-dated laws. We need to return to the days of old when dealing with pirates was swift and lethal and on-the-spot, not drawn out in courts of "civilized" countries. If the Somalis knew there was a 95% or greater chance that they would be killed, there would be fewer of them out there.

    Here is what other cruising friends posted on their website this morning. We agree with them.

    "We're hoping that news of this incident, involving four US citizens, will increase pressure on the US and other countries to take serious action against the increasing piracy, which is threatening commercial shipping as well as private vessels. There are hundreds of hostages and numerous ships in captivity, awaiting ransom. The ransom money is fueling terrorism."

    The US needs to revive our War on Terror and hit hard in Somalia. Satellite imagery provides locations of the mansions built by these pirate leaders. Level them. That would be a start.

  4. In todays world, if the International Community truely wanted these annoying pirates to go away and stop affecting "literally billions of dollars of commerce annually", this situation would have been rectified long ago. There is a far greater chess game going on here than meets the eye. Hence the comment "We simply need to trim our sails and change course from to time to time" while we have the freedom to do so as civilized people. To condone the actions of the Somali Pirates, "absolutely not". To think they carry out their plunder entirely of their own self will and determination, "not likely".


    Be sure and check out the map link. And, yes, the piracy does affect literally billions of dollars of commerce annually. More than 2,000 ships per month pass through this area. Do the math on those cargoes. All must pay insurance premiums. Insurance companies and ship owners pay ransoms when ships are captured. We all buy the goods transported -- worldwide. Prices we all pay include the added cost due to the piracy.

    If this isn't a reason for international involvement, I cannot imagine what would better qualify.


  6. Piracy is big business in numerous ways. How many private “operative” maritime safety and enforcement organizations have come into existence over the last 15 years? Why has international maritime law deemed arming of merchant vessels unnecessary, inappropriate and illegal? If the international community had cared about what was happening to Somalia and off its coast in the 1990’s, there most likely would be no crisis to resolve now. Somalia was allowed to become a strategic breeding ground for modern day piracy, and in the end will no doubt be the poster child for why we need a single worldwide international maritime enforcement service under the direction of one governmental body. Review the triad of human history; money, power, control.

  7. Please cite your source of any international maritime law deeming arming of merchant vessels illegal. The only international laws I find state that the vessel must adhere to the laws of the state (country) of which it is flagged.

  8. ... as if Jean and Scott knew, what will happen:

    Look at the Emergency Cards on their own web page below "Piracy":

    How sad is that!

  9. Prison? Three squares a day, free medical care, free lawyers and free use of a gym is not a threat to these pirates.

    Naval vessels present at an attempted hijacking are often not authorized to intervene. UK vessels are worried about hijackers making claims for refugee status from war torn, governmentless Somalia.

    I believe that US naval vessels have orders to avoid actions that are not specifically authorized.

    Most yachts turn off AIS and run dark, but it should be remembered that the pirates have faster craft and weaponry sufficient to effortlessly sink a yacht while standing off well out of range of any defense fire, however puny and poorly aimed it may be.

    Yachts in a convoy are not really any safer than solitary yachts. Commercial ships may be the desired targets but any yacht is a target of opportunity since profits are high and the costs are non-existent.


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