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O.C. yachting couple among hundreds held by Somalia pirates, official says

February 21, 2011 |  4:58 pm

The Orange County couple whose boat was hijacked off the coast of Oman are among hundreds of people being held against their will by Somali pirates.

A U.S. Navy spokesman told BBC Africa that Somali pirates currently have about 30 boats and 600 people being held. One pirate told reporters in Africa that the Orange County couple's yacht was headed for the coast of Somalia.

For nearly a decade, Scott and Jean Adam's home has been the 58-foot custom-made sloop.

Although they docked every so often in Marina del Rey to pick up mail and see friends, the couple spent most of their time sailing to far-flung locales such as the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti and New Zealand.

Posting photos and information on their website, they raved about their travels aboard the Quest. "We've decided to ... explore Fiji like petals on a flower," they wrote about their 2007 trip to the South Pacific.

Now, "This is all of our worst nightmares," said Scott Stolnitz, a friend of the couple.

Stolnitz, who with his wife also sails around the world, said he and Scott Adam had previously discussed the dangers of piracy when navigating the Arabian and Red seas.

Scott Adam, 70, had considered shipping the boat to avoid the dangers, a costly option, but decided instead to join a rally of yachts heading to the same place, Stolnitz said.

The couple, however, apparently decided to break off from the Blue Water Rally, which organized and supported the group of boats headed toward the Mediterranean.

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-- Corina Knoll and Shelby Grad

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