U.S. citizens killed after ship taken by Somali pirates

When you watch a movie like "Pirates of the Caribbean," it's easy to sing along, "yo ho, a pirate's life for me." It all looks like such fun. Sailing the open seas, answering to no one and taking what you want when you want it, consequences be hanged.

But we all know it's fiction, right? There's no such thing as pirates. Jack Sparrow is just a figment of our imagination, a character created for a film by a writer.

Sparrow may be fictitious, but unfortunately, pirates do exist. And they're not some romantic notion either.

Somalia's United Nations Mission announced last Friday that pirates had hijacked a yacht carrying four U.S. citizens in the Indian Ocean off the Somali coast. The Mission called for the release of the captives and surrender by the pirates.

The request was, of course ignored.

The four captives have been killed, according to news reports this morning. No other details are currently available about what happened. We do know that there were more than a dozen pirates on board at the time.

The yacht was called the S/V Quest, and it was on a mission. The boat was the home of Jean and Scott Adam, and they've been distributing Bibles to schools and churches in the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia. They were members of a church in Santa Monica, Calif. The other two passengers were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, both from Seattle. They were sailing with the Blue Water Rally, a support system for yachters worldwide.

Piracy in Somalia isn't anything new. It's been rampant since the Somali Civil War, early in the 21st Century. It's not only dangerous for anyone sailing the waters off the coast of Somalia, but it also contributes to increases in shipping costs and the impedment of the delivery of food aid shipments.

Why have Somali men turned to piracy? Some say it's because of the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of the country. When the waters were no longer of use for fishermen, they turned to piracy as a means of earning a living. Some do it out of anger, exacting revenge for the ruination of their waters. There is also a belief that the piracy is about protecting the country's territorial waters - the men believe they are protecting their fishing grounds.

Whatever the reason, lives have been lost on both sides. When will people learn? Violence only creates more violence.


Published Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:43 AM by bulldog
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