Saturday, February 19, 2011

U.S. considers military action after pirates seize Orange County couple's boat

Taken hostage: Scott and Jean Adams, who travel the world in their yacht the SV Quest, have been kidnapped by Somali pirates

On a quest: The Adams' yacht, on which they were travelling with two other unidentified U.S. citizens when they were attacked

(Editor comment: Who in their right mind would navigate 250nm off the coast of Somalia? OMG!)

U.S. military officials said they are considering a response after reports that pirates off the coast of Somalia hijacked the yacht belonging to an Orange County couple on a worldwide voyage distributing Bibles.
Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, deputy commander of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, told CNN on Saturday that the U.S. is prepared to intervene to rescue the couple if they are indeed aboard the boat.
"They were part of a sailing group that set sail from the southern tip of India into the western Indian Ocean," he told the network.

Jean and Scott Adam have been sailing around the world for six years on their sailboat, the S/V Quest. They have raced with the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, which has been their mail drop during their global odyssey.

Omar Jamal, first secretary at the Somali mission, said Friday that pirates in the Indian Ocean had taken four U.S. citizens captive when they hijacked the S/V Quest. The other two people have not been identified.
The couple's website,, shows that the Adams were on a journey this winter from India to the Mediterranean by way of the Arabian and Red seas. They had hoped to reach Crete by April, then sail to Istanbul, Turkey.

"Djibouti is a big refueling stop," Jean Adam, a retired dentist, wrote of a stop that they were planning just beyond Somalia. "I have NO idea what will happen in these ports, but perhaps we'll do some local touring. Due north is the Red Sea where we plan to tuck in when winds turn to the north."

Last year, the couple sailed to ports in Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand.

Piracy has flourished off Somalia's coast for two decades. Before the recent seizures of the S/V Quest and another vessel, the Alfardous, pirates were believed to be holding 29 ships and about 660 hostages.

The S/V Quest website says almost nothing about where the Adams lived or what they did before they set off around the world.

"We were so unhappy being 'dirt dwellers' during our time in the States that another floating abode had to be acquired," Jean Adam wrote.

But the website richly chronicles their adventures abroad, among them tales of distributing Bibles in Fiji.

"We seek fertile ground for the Word and homes for our Bibles," she wrote. "Often, the ultimate homes are best found by people who are already living locally and seeking and cultivating that fertile ground."

She also told of the uncertainty of their future plans.

"We have some repairs we need to make in Turkey," she wrote. "We'll do a little cruising in the Med. AND we have a reservation on October 15th in St. Katherine's Docks in London, England — SOOOO, we'll see...."
--Michael Finnegan
Photo from
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US Court Sentences a Somali Pirate to 33 Years of Jail

Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, a Somali pirate who pleaded guilty for attacking an American merchant ship with his three other pirates in April 2009, has been sentenced to more than 33 years in jail.
Only Muse survived when the US Navy came to help, killing three other pirates by its sharpshooters.
His lawyer has wanted him to be sentenced to the minimum of 27 years in prison. Muse was the ringleader of the pirate gang, the prosecutors said.

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