The U.S. has strongly condemned the killing of four American citizens by Somali pirates. It has urged the world to bring the maritime criminals to justice.
"This deplorable act by the pirates that stalk vessels in the waters off of Somalia firmly underscores the need for the international community to act more decisively together," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "We've got to have a more effective approach to maintaining security on the seas, in the ocean lanes that are so essential to commerce and travel."
Scott and Jean Adam had been living on the ship and sailing the seas together since 2002. They were on a mission to travel to ports around the world "seeking fertile ground for the Word and homes for their Bibles" as they had previously said.
Also on board their vessel Quest were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, two friends from Washington state.
Pirates hijacked the yacht about 300 miles off the Somali coast. Four U.S. naval warships had been trailing the yacht for several days and was in the middle of negotiating the hostages release when things took a horrible turn, and gunfire was heard.
By the time they boarded the ship, members of a SEAL team found all four Americans had been shot and killed.
The families and friends of the murdered Americans were devastated.
"My grandma wants you all to know that the world is an empty place without my aunt here," said Nina Crossland, niece of Macay. "She's the oldest of the siblings and my grandma is very devastated."
"Jean and Scott, members of Del Rey Yacht Club since 2001, were wonderful people and very dedicated to serving mankind, by trying to better the world with their humanitarian efforts," said Gary Deitsch, Commodore of the Del Rey Yacht Club. "Though they had been sailing around the world for seven years, Del Rey Yacht Club was their home away from home."
In Santa Monica, Calif., the Adams' fellow Saint Monica's Catholic Church members said the couple was living their dream.
"They wanted to make some difference," said Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson. "And they choose this as they way they could make that difference. Beautiful people, joyful couple, I just loved both of them so much and their family. So, our prayer goes out in a special way to that family today and to our community and to this world. You know, it's a dark moment and it's a huge tragedy."