Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Somali pirate drama ends with death of American hostages

Scott and Jean Adam The U.S. military's attempt to rescue four American hostages from pirates in the Gulf of Aden derailed Tuesday morning. The military was in radio communication with the pirates when shots were heard, officials said.

Then, a U.S. Special Forces team boarded the Quest and engaged in a brief firefight with the heavily armed pirates. All four hostages had been shot by the pirates, officials said.

The victims were Jean and Scott Adam of Southern California and Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle of Seattle. None of the U.S. forces were injured.

Two pirates were killed and 13 taken prisoner; the bodies of two more pirates were found on the Quest. The four hostages died despite emergency medical care.

The U.S. already had two pirates as prisoners, although the circumstances of their capture are unclear. In all, the U.S. Central Command said it believed 19 pirates were involved in capturing the Quest.

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle The four ships that had been shadowing the Quest were the carrier Enterprise, guided missile cruiser Leyte Gulf, and guided missile destroyers Sterett and Bulkeley. The four were in the region to support anti-piracy efforts and missions involving the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Central Command.

The U.S. is part of an anti-piracy coalition based in Bahrain with ships from several countries. Piracy off Somalia’s east coast has plagued shipping for several years, with ships held for ransom.

In late 2009, U.S. officials noted that the pirates extended the range of their attacks to the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia’s north coast. The pirates are also ranging farther out to sea, 600 miles in some cases. 


Four American hostages killed by Somali pirates during rescue attempt

Bodies of Southern California couple killed by pirates now aboard U.S. aircraft carrier

-- Tony Perry 

Upper photo: Scott and Jean Adam in an undated photo. Credit: svquest.com

Lower photo: Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle on June 11, 2005. Credit: Joe Grande / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (28)

Level Somalia and everything that moves within it's borders.

This is outrageous. These people are absolute animals.
The US Navy should give people living in every port in Somali 10 minutes warning to clear the dock areas.
Then send in fighter jets and helicopter gunships and sink every vessel that floats.

We should go back to old school treatment of pirates. Make them walk the plank. This business of taking them and giving them a trial is a huge waste of time and money.

It is NEVER the fault of the victims when evil evil people perform their demonic acts on them. These people were innocent of all crimes and did not deserve to be kidnapped. or killed!!!!period.

it is never the victims fault!!!

After the hijacking of the last American vessel, the US administration lost valuable time by flying a hostage negotiation team out from the states, rather than using the SEAL team immediately on arrival. Dithering and delay clearly cost these sailors their lives. The administration simply has to be more decisive. As hundres are cut down in Tripoli, the US has a chance to impose a coalition no fly zone, as it did in Iraq and Serbia. Caution and trepidation appear to be winning the day as hundreds more die.

Have to agree with the Sheriff. Execution at sea would have been just fine for those pirates.

I'm not going to condemn all Somali's for the actions of these despicable "things" ( I say things, because they don't deserve to be called people). However, something has to be done about these so called "pirates". Establish, if possible, a cordon around the port cities. Let ALL Somali's know, that any vessels caught outside Somali territorial waters, will be sunk on sight, no exceptions.

If establishing a naval cordon isn't possible, then how about we use some of those drones that are flying around Afghanistan. They see any boats slipping out past the territorial limit, they sink them. If these pirates are asking for no quarter, then they should be shown no quarter.

Negotiating with pirates? Exactly what we'd expect from the feckless morons in Washington.

My heart bleeds for them. I know, I know, it's not the fault of the victim but how stupid do you have to be to take a risk like that?

Let's try to figure out a compromise...stop sailing off the coast of Somalia (Gulf of Aden) and stop force feeding the christian faith to non-believers. That might help a bit. Pleasure sailing is best enjoyed in the Med. and the Carr.

Use common sense people.

Wait a second now - these 'pirate' are mostly family men trying to make a megar living the best way they can. A lack of US foreign aid to their countries makes it hard for them to live of hand-outs alone. They will be tried by a jury of their peers in a court of their choosing, and be provided free counsel, compliments of our great and strong country. - BO (POUS)!

The pirates should have been executed immediately. However, if that yacht had been sold, the cost of the trip and the cost of the bibles were added up, how many hungry people could have been fed? These people didn't deserve to die but they could have used their resources in a better way.

Obozo really dropped the ball on this one...idiot....

Why were 13 pirates taken alive? Next they will be taken to the USA for a show trial, given life sentances and live a better life than they could imagine. I suspect the democrats will eventually try to give them US citizenship and the City of Berkley will offer them homes and jobs.

One half of the cause of these deaths is the fault of anyone who paid to release other hostages in that area. As I write there are over 600 hostages and about 36 ships being held in that area.
Payment of prior ransoms was foolish and greedy because it has taught the criminals that crime pays, resulting in the current situation. DON'T PAY CRIMINALS, EVER!

This is very sad news, but it needs to be put in context.

First, the sailors took an idiotic risk; they should have sailed around the Cape. A Libertarian would say they deserved what they got for their stupidity, a Republican (and most Democrats) would agree except if it makes a good excuse for war.

As much as I (and most others) deplore the pirates' actions, it must be remembered that international industry has greatly damaged their ability to earn a living as they did previously, by fishing.

The US Navy has killed far more innocent civilians than the Somali pirates. In the Blackhawk Down incident, the US military (including the Navy) killed several hundred people in order to recover several bodies of their comrades lost in a kidnap attempt. This was after a previous incident in which they killed about 70 people instead of attempting to arrest several. Ironically, not only did US forces lose a bunch more of their own, the one of their own that was captured survived because he surrendered. A US Navy admiral, acting in a "diplomatic" capacity, refused to negotiate a release (despite a measly $50K price tag, most of which was legitimate expense including medical care). The admiral instead threatened to kill ~ 10,ooo Somalis at random to secure the release, or more practically speaking, to show off how evil US military policy is, and incite (counter)-terrorism so the US military could justify its existence.

Well thank God we are spending all this time and money putting pirates on trial. This President needs to show some backbone and try to remember exactly where the shores of Tripoli are in history.

Our Right to safe passage on the open Seas is collapsing while the President is lecturing governors, policemen and others about fairness over unions, beer and kinder border patrols. He needs to do his freaking job and protect the citizens of this country from all pirates and others who would do harm to American citizens.

These pirates need to know the fear of God next time they attempt such a taking. With 600 hostages taken some thing is very wrong with the current politeness offered these filthy rogues.

This cowardice, or lack of intestinal fortitude, by Obama in dealing forcefully with pirates will only lead us into another Tehran hostage deal al la James Carter.

With the cuurent fallout across the Arab world Americans will be hostage targets across the globe unless we act to show that we will protect our citizens with force now. I am sorry but there are real bad people in this world who do bad things if they know there will be no direct, swift and painful consequences from us.

Now we see what happens when Americans are perceived as too weak to respond because of our President' feelings about fairness. Let's see just how long he will deliberate on this, how many commissions will be formed?

Piracy is the scourge of the free and open seas, we have Navy that is suppose to and can protect us, now can we get a President with a pair of brass ones to do the same?

Shoot pirates first and ask questions later!

What does it take for the world to get off Their dead buts and put a stop to this problem? That Country is just one small fish in the sea. Nuke um.

You are all hate filled basterd you don't know what is going on. These men were fisher men before the water were poisoned by toxic waste. I don’t think what they did was right but damn you evil, mostly James Sheriff.

Unfortunate events like these will continue to occur so long as Western nations refuse to stand up to the Somali pirates. Piracy was almost eliminated, but only after nations banded together and negotiated with lead. It will only get worse before it gets worse.

The pirates were taken prisoner? They should have just lined up the pirates and executed every last one of them and fed the sharks. Until they understand that they can't keep doing this with impunity, they will never stop. This is getting ridiculous; totally out of hand.

Um, were they expecting a miracle. They should have known our government dose not represent American people anywhere or anytime

Those were "shark" infested waters. Why do Americans always attempt fate. We seem to think we can go anywhere and be protected. For some stupid reason we have a Disney World mentality. A sad ending that could have been avoided.
Now we are stuck with prosecuting 13 cannibals on our dime.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: