Somali Pirates Hijack Yacht With American Couple

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Saturday February 19, 2011 - 17:25:16 in News In English by Xarunta Dhexe
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    Somali Pirates Hijack Yacht With American Couple

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An American couple sailing across the Indian Ocean in a small yacht was captured by Somali pirates on Friday, maritime officials in East Africa said, and the pirates appeared to be taking the Americans back to the Somali shore. The yacht’s owners, Jean and Scott Adam, have been cruising around the world for more than six years, from New Zealand to Tahiti to the Galapagos to Hawaii, China and India. In one of their last posts on their Web site, they said they were leaving Mumbai for Oman, and then sailing onwards to Djibouti, passing through pirate-infested waters where there have been an increasing number of hijackings in recent months. “Djibouti is a big refueling stop,” wrote Mrs. Adam, a retired dentist. “I have NO idea what will happen in these ports, but perhaps we’ll do some local touring.” On Friday, while they were about 275 miles from the coast of Oman, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the pirates struck, according to Andrew Mwangura, the maritime editor of Somalia Report, an online news source that closely tracks piracy attacks. “They put out an SOS,” he said. “The timing was bad. The pirates just intercepted them.” According to Mr. Mwangura and the East Africa-based Ecoterra International, which also monitors piracy attacks, there were four people on board the Adams’ boat, called the S/V Quest. According to the Adams’ Web site, the Quest is a Davidson 58 Pilot House Sloop, which has been the Adams’ home since they started an around-the-world trip in 2004. Somalia’s pirates are getting increasingly bold – and vicious. Several hostages have been beaten and at least one was recently killed and some hostages have even been forced at gunpoint to accompany pirates on raids. Despite an enormous naval presence, with some of the world’s most powerful navies patrolling Somalia’s seas with dozens of warships, the pirates continue to strike with impunity. Dozens of vessels have been seized in the past year and ransoms have shot up from a few hundred thousand dollars to now typically $4 or $5 million. Though pirates prefer large oil tankers, which tend to draw the biggest ransoms, they have also hijacked small sailboats. A British couple in a small yacht was released by pirates in November after being held in horrendous conditions in rural Somalia for more than a year. Around $1 million was paid to free them, maritime officials said. There has been little, if any, radio contact with the Adams since they were hijacked on Friday, maritime officials said. But sources onshore in Somalia indicated that a well-known piracy gang from northern Somalia had captured them and was taking them back to one of their many lairs. Somalia has languished without a functioning central government for more than 20 years, and once pirates bring hostages back to their dens, there are very few options for a rescue.



By: Rohosafi For more information on Somalia, contact to Rohosafi at englishnews@live.com

Akhrise hoos kadhiibo fikirkaaga


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