Pirates get life for yacht murders

by John C Payne

Three convicted Somali pirates have been lucky to escape the death penalty , as a US jury sentences them to life in prison for the murder of four Americans in the Indian Ocean for the February 2011 shooting deaths aboard a 17.7-metre yacht. The murdered yachtie’s were Scott Adam and Jean Adam, from Marina del Rey, and Bob Riggle Phyllis Macay of Seattle.

The pirates were part of a group of 19 Somali pirates operating out of a captured Yemeni mother ship in the Indian Ocean. The group had armed itself with AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, boarding ladders and a high-speed skiff. On February 18, 2011, about 320km off the coast of Oman, they easily captured the yacht Quest.

Within two days US warships, including the aircraft carrier Enterprise, caught up with the yacht. Two of the pirates boarded a US destroyer for face-to-face negotiations, where they turned down an offer to keep the Quest but surrender the Americans, and the pair were then detained on the ship. The US navy then moved closer to the Quest, the gunfire started and one pirate fired a rocket and the navy SEAL’s stormed the yacht, with the four Americans, and four of the pirates being killed.

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