American Morning

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February 23rd, 2011
07:50 AM ET

Friend remembers couple killed at sea, says they knew the danger

Negotiations between Somali pirates and the U.S. Navy ended brutally Tuesday in the shooting deaths of four Americans.

The Americans–Jean and Scott Adam, Phyllis Macay and Robert A. Riggle– were taken hostage by Somali pirates Friday as they sailed in notoriously dangerous waters off the coast of Oman. The Adams were fulfilling their dream of embarking on a missionary sailing trip around the world and were accompanied by crew-members Macay and Riggle.

Naval forces were trailing the pirates' ship, when pirates fired a rocket propelled grenade at the U.S. cruiser. Then, seeing gunfire where the hostages were being held, the Navy entered the cabin on the pirates' ship where they found the Americans shot dead.

Clayton Schmit was a close friend of the Adams and talks to American Morning's Kiran Chetry.


Filed under: Security • U.S. • World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    While a shame, we need to remember that these "Americans" whatever their reason, were well aware of the danger and it doesn't mean anything about what they were doing. EVERYONE, except maybe someone living on another planet knows what is going on in this area! Can it be stopped? YES! But with everyone involved. I totally agree that EVERY vessel coming out of this area be confronted
    with over powering naval force, again from EVERYONE, and if found to be anything other than fishing, or on legitimate business, that they be SUNK on the spot! If they are pirates then do not waste time taking prisioners put them in a life boat and let them try to get home! And I am being nice on that, because personally I would KILL all of them!
    And yes that would probably result in current captives being killed, but unless you have the "stuff" to bring forces on land this will just continue without punishment.

    February 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  2. T. Lee

    First – they were not killed because of carrying bibles with them as they sailed here and there.

    Secondly – they were not killed because they were Christians.

    Third – they were by many reports almost 1700 miles away from Somalia when attacked by skiffs carried out that far by "mother ships" the pirates are converting from junk boats that look like everything else coming out of port.

    Finally – most likely they became a crime-of-opportunity.

    The pirates certainly didn't steam 1700 miles to capture a sailboat. No doubt they were looking for a cargo ship like what they usually go after and finding nothing to attack they went after the yacht to have something to demand a ransom for just to "cover expenses".'

    In any case, they did nothing wrong. They joined a group to traverse The Gulf of Aden which is considered the most likely place to be confronted by pirates (at least up until this incident) and afterward resumed their round-the-world cruise (their second or third). All those heaping such unkind and harsh criticism on them are trolls apparently with nothing better to do.

    February 24, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  3. lyNNie21

    this is just really sad. this could have been prevented!

    February 23, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  4. RICHARD D. DUFFY

    It is an absolute shame to put it mildly, that 4 Christians distributing bibles worldwide would be killed, especially by pirates. Could this have been prevented? YES!!!
    President Obama and other world so called COMMANDERS IN CHIEF could issue a warning to Somalia that any fishing vessel or other Somali boat more than 3 miles from shore will be sunk. Its simple and uncomplicated. If Somalis can not find fish within 3 miles of shore, they are on the high seas with bad intentions. Sink the ships and kill the pirates. I can only hope that at least our President has the junk to make such a simple decision that will save American and others lives as well as make shipping fuel and other products on the high seas safer.

    February 23, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  5. julie

    Is it not time to start bombing samolia? When is enough – enough?
    These are terroists of the high seas, No remorse to sending nuclear bomb even to nail them. At least blow up the harbor.

    More a threat there than other places the U..S. is involved in.

    February 23, 2011 at 9:18 am |