After hearing of the taking of The Quest with Jean & Scott Adam and two crew, fellow cruisers and SSCA Commodores Nancy & Burger Zapf (Halekai, currently in Phuket) wrote to say:
“We first met Jean and Scott in Suwarrow (Cook Islands) in 2005 and met up with them again in Fiji and Vanuatu 2 years ago. Thought you’d be interested to read the attached…They had been sailing with the Blue Water Rally.
Scott and Jean Adam joined the Oz-Med section of the Blue Water Rally just before Christmas and had been sailing with the Rally from Phuket as far as Mumbai. Quest had taken on two well-known rally participants: Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle. However, she chose to take an independent route from Mumbai to Salalah, leaving the Rally on 15 February. All information is now being handled by the US Central Command and their spokesman in Dubai.”
So now we have the identity of the two other crew members onboard The Quest.
According to an article in today’s LA Times, “U.S. Military officials said they are considering a response after reports that pirates off the coast of Somalia hijacked a yacht belonging to an Orange County, Calif., couple on a worldwide voyage distributing Bibles.
Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, deputy commander of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, told CNN on Saturday that the U.S. is prepared to intervene to rescue the couple if they are indeed aboard the boat.”
French Commandos have previously rescued the crews of two French vessels that were hijacked, by military intervention. In the second of these, the rescue of the yacht Tanit in April 2009, the skipper Florent Lemacon was killed by friendly fire, while his widow Chloe and small son Colin were rescued.
No military attempts to rescue yacht crews by this method have been made since. Later in 2009 British cruising sailors Rachel and Paul Chandler were captured and held in captivity for over a year before a ransom was paid and they were released. The British Navy watched the hijacking at sea, but held fire for fear of hitting the Chandlers.
Piracy has flourished off Somalia’s coast for two decades. Cruisers are having to make serious decisions about whether or not to voyage into pirate-infested waters.