Three of the four Americans murdered aboard the yacht Quest (Davidson 58 Pilot House Sloop) by Somali pirates were Amateur Radio Operators! See, Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), Three Yachtsmen Killed by Somali Pirates were Hams, February 22, 2011. As an incidental fact, I am an Extra Class amateur radio operator, Don Hamrick/KI5SS in addition to being a U.S. merchant seaman of 20 years.
U.S. Forces Respond to
Gunfire Aboard S/V Quest
From Central Command Public Affairs
TAMPA, Fla. – At approximately 1 a.m. EST today, while negotiations were ongoing to secure the release of four American hostages, U.S. forces responded to gunfire aboard the pirated vessel (S/V) Quest.
As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds.
“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Gen James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander.
During the boarding of the Quest, the reaction force was engaged by pirates on board the vessel. Two pirates died during the confrontation and 13 were captured and detained along with two pirates already in US Forces custody. The US Forces also found the remains of two other pirates already dead aboard the Quest. In total, it is believed 19 pirates were involved in the hijacking of the S/V Quest.
US Forces have been closely monitoring the S/V Quest for approximately 3 days, once it became known to be pirated. Four U.S. Navy warships comprised the response force dedicated to recovering the S/V Quest: the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Bulkeley (DDG 84). The ships are deployed to the region to conduct maritime security operations and to provide support to operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
Questions can be addressed to U.S. Central Command at 813-827-5895.
THE PIRATES VERSION
David Gardner and Sophie Freedom, Killers, Cowards, Damned Liars: Navy Deny Pirates’ Claim that U.S. Warship Started Firefight that Killed Four Innocent American Sailors, Daily Mail, London, U.K., February 23, 2011:
Today, however, pirate sources in touch with news agencies disputed the Navy’s version of events.
Two Somali pirates spoke with Reuters by telephone, claiming the murders had been their response to a U.S. attack.
‘Our colleagues called us … (saying) that they were being attacked by a U.S. warship,’ said a pirate who identified himself as Muhammad.
‘The U.S. warship shot in the head two of my comrades who were on the deck of the yacht by the time they alerted us,’ he said. ‘This is the time we ordered the other comrades inside the yacht to react – kill the four Americans because there was no other alternative – then our line got cut.’
But Lieutenant-Commander Bill Speaks, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said: ‘This is absolute nonsense. It is false.’
Hmmmmm. Does anyone remember Operation Entebbe, a hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976?
WE NEED A MARITIME TREATY RECOGNIZING THE HUMAN RIGHT TO ARMED SELF-DEFENSE FOR COMMERCIAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND THEIR CREW, (NOT JUST CONTRACT SECURITY TEAMS) AND FOR THE RECREATIONAL SAILORS YACHTING AROUND THE WORLD!
When will the United States, the United Nations, and the International Maritime Organization stop dragging their asses, sidestepping around the human rights issue of armed self-defense for seafarers of all types, from the crew of commercial merchant vessels to the recreational and the retired enjoying their lives yachting around the world?
The four Americans on the yacht Quest were Christian missionaries delivering Bibles during their voyage around the world. The yacht Quest is the “Quest Bible Ministry.” In the photo below Scott and Jean Adam are loading cases of Bibles aboard. I speculate whether the Somali pirates discovered their load of Bibles and that discovery was an element in the decision by the Somali pirates to murder the four American Christian missionaries provoked into committing the pre-decided execution by the U.S. Navy rescue attempt.