Two Somali pirates took credit for ordering that their fellow marauders kill the four Americans on a hijacked yacht in the Indian Ocean. One pirate told Reuter, "Our colleagues called us this morning, that they were being attacked by a US warship. We ordered our comrades to kill the four Americans before they got killed."
The S/V Quest, a yacht owned by Jean and Scott Adam who were sailing around the world distributing Bibles to remote regions along with friends Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, had been tailed by a U.S. Navy warship after it was hijacked on Friday. CBS News reports, "a pirate aboard the yacht reportedly "fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the warship. "Then gunfire broke out aboard the yacht. When Navy special forces reached the Quest, they found the four American hostages had been shot and killed."
According to the Post, "The US Attorney's Office here is campaigning for the death-penalty case, citing its recent victory in a piracy trial, according to the source." The Post also details the Navy's attempt to save the hostages:
Negotiators aboard USS Sterret, 600 yards away, were in radio contact with the brigands when they heard gunfire aboard the yacht about 1 a.m. New York time.
As Navy SEALs sped to the yacht, a pirate fired a rocket-propelled grenade toward the Sterret that missed.
SEALs then boarded the Quest, killed one pirate with a knife, fatally shot another and captured 13 more.
The Americans were alive when SEALs boarded but died despite emergency treatment.
Navy brass said it was unclear if the hostages had made an escape attempt.
The average ransom paid to pirates now is $5 million; just a few years ago, it was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. And the victims' friends shared their memories with the NY Times. The Adams' friend said, "They were very much in love and shared both a love of the sea and a love of God’s word. They were NOT proselytizing or converting anyone."