Four Americans killed in Somalian Sea

Scott and Jean Adams were living out their life dream:  to sail the high seas in search of adventure–and, while doing so, distribute the Bible to remote villages.  From the excerpt taken  from the New York Times on February 23 2011,  it is apparent that people are just not aware of  the perils of the Somalian Sea.  In fact, The Adams,  along with another couple of friends,   strayed from a convoy,  known as a “rally”,  for unknown reasons.   The decision  immersed them in harms way.

Personally,  I don’t understand why  international law does not prohibit sailing in certain areas.   After all,  those who do travel dangerous routes  are also putting Navy personnel in peril.   Moreover,  difficult negotiations   between Navy personnel and pirates could theoretically lead to  failed diplomatic results,  military force, and perhaps even war.

The New York Times reports:

On Friday, the Quest sent out an S O S, 275 miles from the coast of Oman, in the open seas between Mumbai and Djibouti. A mother ship had been observed near the yacht when it was hijacked by pirates in a smaller craft, maritime officials said, but it disappeared once warships drew close, or was captured.

Either way, the pirates were blocked from escaping and that may be one reason tensions rose on board, said Andrew Mwangura, the maritime editor of Somalia Report, a Web site that monitors piracy attacks.

“There were a big number of gunmen on a small yacht,” Mr. Mwangura said. “They could have been fighting over food, water, space. And with military choppers overhead, people get jumpy.”

According to Vice Adm. Mark Fox, the commander of United States Naval Forces Central Command, shortly after the Quest was hijacked, the Navy began talking to the pirates’ financier as well as elders from the pirates’ village. Many pirate crews are paid by wealthy Somali businessmen who later get a cut of the ransom.

On Monday, two of the pirates boarded a naval destroyer that had pulled within 600 yards of the Quest to negotiate further.

But the talks seemed to unravel on Tuesday morning, when a pirate aboard the Quest fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the destroyer. Almost immediately gunfire erupted from inside the yacht’s cabin, Admiral Fox said, and several pirates then stepped up to the bow with their hands up.

Fifteen Special Operations officers in two high-speed assault craft rushed in. When they boarded the Quest, they shot and killed one pirate and stabbed another.

Once aboard, the American forces found two pirates already dead, apparently killed by their comrades. The pirates were in disarray, the American military said, and a fight had broken out among them.

The deaths of the Adams was particularly striking to many of their friends, considering the kind of mission they were on.

“The irony of all this is that Scott and Jean, like so many of us out here cruising the world, are out here to meet the people, learn about their culture and help those we meet in whatever way we can,” said Mr. Allen.

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