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Entries in S/V Quest (4)

Thursday
Mar102011

Pirates Charged In Death Of American Yachters

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NORFOLK, Va.) -- Fourteen accused pirates -- 13 from Somalia and one from Yemen -- appeared in a federal courtroom in Norfolk, Virginia, Thursday afternoon after being indicted for the hijacking of a yacht off the coast of Africa that led to the deaths of four Americans in February.

Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said the men were charged with piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and using a rocket-propelled grenade during the kidnapping.

"The lead count is piracy, which carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted," MacBride told ABC News. "The indictment...alleges that at least three of the pirates murdered the Americans without cause, without provocation, did so intentionally."

The suspects have not been charged with murder, but McBride said the investigation is ongoing and that additional charges are possible.

The men were turned over to the Justice Department Thursday after being held by the U.S. military since the attack on the 58-foot yacht called Quest in the Arabian Sea on Feb. 22, 2011.

The men allegedly attempted to hold four Americans hostage for ransom, but the yacht's owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, California, and their friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle were shot and killed before the U.S. Navy could negotiate a deal.

Despite the high level of piracy in the waters off East Africa in recent years, the Adams and their friends were the first Americans known to have died in a pirate attack in the region.

The Navy received an S.O.S. call from the Quest, saying that men had boarded the vessel. In response to the call, the USS Sterett began tailing the Quest.

Two of the alleged pirates came aboard the Sterett to negotiate, but while negotiations were underway, the Navy said, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired toward the Sterett. Gunfire was then heard aboard the Quest.

U.S. Navy SEALs boarded the Quest and found two pirates dead as well as all the Americans. The alleged pirates have claimed that the violence was started by the Navy.

The weapons charge, stemming from the RPG attack, carries a minimum sentence of 30 years, while kidnapping can mean a life sentence.

MacBride told ABC News that the military had taken a fifteenth pirate, a Somali, into custody, but he turned out to be a juvenile who had no role in the attack so he was not charged.

In November, five Somali pirates were convicted in the same federal court on piracy charges stemming from an attack on two U.S. Navy ships, the USS Ashland and the USS Nicholas. They are scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb222011

Four Americans Killed on Pirated Yacht Off Somalia

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Four Americans taken captive by pirates on their yacht off Somalia have been killed.

Jean and Scott Adam, of California, were sailing the world on a Christian mission to distribute bibles when their yacht, the 58-foot S/V Quest, was ambushed by pirates in the notoriously dangerous waters nearly 300 miles off the Somali coast. With the Adams was another couple – Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle, of Washington State.

U.S. forces boarded the Quest on Tuesday after hearing shots fired on board. All four Americans were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds.

"We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest," said Gen James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander.

Two pirates were killed by U.S. forces during Tuesday's raid; another two were found dead onboard. Thirteen pirates were captured. U.S. Central Command believes a total of 19 pirates were involved in the yacht’s hijacking.

As the group approached the waters off the Horn of Africa, they cut back using their radios and satellite systems so their location couldn’t be tracked by pirates, but they were still found.

U.S. forces had been monitoring the pirated yacht by air and sea for nearly three days since its capture.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb202011

Navy Monitoring Yacht Seized by Pirates with Four Americans Onboard

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SALALAH, Oman) -- The U.S. Navy is carefully tracking a yacht seized by Somali pirates Friday with four Americans onboard. A source confirms to ABC News that the Navy has at least one warship and helicopters monitoring the vessel as it makes its way to Somalia from Yemen.

The advocacy group Ecoterra International indicated that the S/V Quest was seized 240 nautical miles off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean.

The 58-foot S/V Quest is owned by Jean and Scott Adam, who have been sailing the boat around the world for the past seven years. As they approached the notoriously hostile waters off the Horn of Africa, the Adams cut back using their radios and satellite systems so their location couldn't be tracked by pirates, but they were still found.

The Adams are members of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, California.

Pirate seizures have continued in the waters off East Africa despite the constant patrols of by the world's navies, including ships from the United States. It is believed that Somali pirates currently have 29 ships in their possession and are holding 660 crewmembers hostage. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb192011

Somali Pirates Hijack American Yacht on Indian Ocean Voyage

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SALALAH, Oman) -- U.S. officials confirm that a yacht with four Americans aboard has been seized by Somali pirates in the waters of the Indian Ocean.

The advocacy group Ecoterra International says its monitoring of regional maritime activity off the coast of East Africa indicates four Americans aboard the yacht S/V Quest were seized by pirates 240 nautical miles off the coast of Oman.

Lt. Commander Susie Thomson, a spokesperson for the Combined Maritime Forces that patrol the waters of the Middle East, confirmed the Quest incident, but could provide no details.

A U.S. official said, "We are still looking at what the options are."

The 58-foot S/V Quest is owned by Jean and Scott Adam, who have been sailing the boat around the world for the past seven years. As they approached the notoriously hostile waters off the Horn of Africa, the Adams cut back using their radios and satellite systems so their location couldn't be tracked by pirates, but they were still found.

The Adams are members of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, California.

Pirate seizures have continued in the waters off East Africa despite the constant patrols of by the world's navies, including ships from the United States. It is believed that Somali pirates currently have 29 ships in their possession and are holding 660 crewmembers hostage.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio