BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pirates hijacked a yacht and are now holding four Americans hostage.  This happened off the coast of East Africa, an area plagued by piracy.

Kai Jackson explains the same thing nearly happened to an Annapolis woman.

The U.S. Navy is reportedly shadowing a hijacked American yacht off the coast of Somalia.  Pirates hijacked the Quest Friday and are holding four Americans on board hostage.  Friends say the four were sailing with a group of boats for safety reasons but at some point, they decided to break off and go it alone.  That’s when the pirates moved in.

“It is a high risk area,” said maritime security analyst Tim Hart.

Piracy is a big problem in the area where the hijacking took place.  Estimates vary but it’s believed pirates currently hold at least 31 vessels and about 700 hostages.

“Piracy has become a major industry in Somalia, filling a major vacuum of a state that can’t provide economic opportunity, can’t provide livelihoods for its people,” said CSIS Africa Director Jennifer Cooke.

Meg Rhian of Annapolis knows the danger all too well.  In 2004, Rhian was on board a cruise ship about 700 miles from the Somali coast when pirates tried to take the ship. 

“The announcement was, `This is your captain.  We’ve been approached by pirates.  Get down on the floor and stay there,'” Rhian said.  “The captain said, `They will not get on my ship.  We’re going to outrun them.’  And that’s what happened.”

In 2009, Navy sharpshooters stepped in when pirates hijacked the Maersk Alabama, holding the captain hostage.  It’s not clear if the U.S. military will step in this time.

If the yacht makes it to Somalia’s shores, the hostages would probably be taken inland, making a fast resolution less likely.

The boat’s owners are from California.  They’ve been sailing the world since 2004, distributing Bibles.

Comments (4)
  1. big joe sheriff says:

    Guess they thought God would save them. God obviously took the day off. What nut job goes sailing in that part of the world with known pirates & murderers?…Send them bibles if you must by bulk express & save your ass.

    1. pigeon says:

      I don’t now who urinated on your corn flake, but you are definitely an extremely negative individual. Have you not a heart? You can say what you will about me and call me all kinds of names, but you will NEVER get the best of me. Nor will I ever make another remark about you; you are not worth my getting upset because of your ignorance.
      By the way, in case you haven’t heard, the latest report is that the pirates assassinated our ellow countrymen while negotiations were underway.
      God NEVER takes the day off!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE