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February 22nd, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Americans slain by captors on hijacked yacht; pirates killed, arrested

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A round-the-world boating adventure ended tragically Tuesday for four Americans, whom pirates fatally shot after capturing their yacht in the Indian Ocean last week, U.S. officials said.

The 58-foot vessel, named the Quest, was being shadowed by the military after pirates took the ship off the coast of Oman on Friday. Officials had said earlier Tuesday it was less than two days from the Somali coast.

Ship owners Jean and Scott Adam and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle were found shot after U.S. forces boarded the vessel about 1 a.m. ET, officials said.

The forces responded after a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a U.S. Navy ship about 600 yards away - and missed - and the sound of gunfire could be heard on board the Quest, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Mark Fox told reporters.

"Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds," U.S. Central Command said.

The incident took place as negotiations involving the FBI were under way for the hostages' release, Fox said. Two pirates had boarded a U.S. Navy ship Monday for the negotiations, he said. He told reporters he had no information on details of the negotiations or whether a ransom had been offered.

Two pirates were found dead on board the Quest, he said. In the process of clearing the vessel, U.S. forces killed two others, one with a knife, Fox said. Thirteen others were captured and detained along with the other two already on board the U.S. Navy ship. Nineteen pirates were involved altogether, he said.

The Adams were from Marina del Rey, California, Fox said, and Macay and Riggle were from Seattle.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. James Looney

    The pirates of sail vessel Quest must be tried & executed. Please don't let them murder innocents and just throw up their hands, surrender and then walk away or get a cush U.S. prison sentence. The USA must stand up and show such criminals that retribution for heinous murder will not be tolerated.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm |