Going on the Account: Boarded and Seized!

Well, looks like Somalia’s going to make the headlines in the US again…


Word of the abduction of Jean and Scott Adam, a retired American couple who have been sailing the world since 2002 and blogging about the experience, was reported a few hours ago.  Their plans according to their itinerary on their site were to go from India to Crete via Oman, Djibouti and the Suez Canal.  What’s striking is that there’s nothing on any of their pages to indicate that they were worried about going into such waters, or for that matter prepared for it.


This may be something about the pirate mentality that is not fully appreciated:  the reason a ship that gets seized by pirates is a called a “target of opportunity” should be self evident…  It is damned foolhardy to assume that small craft would not be of interest to people whose waters you sail through just because they were mainly going after merchant vessels before.  Wolves have been know to go after even chipmunks if there’s a chance for a quick bite out there.


(Yeah, I could have gone with a shark analogy, but with large schools of sharks off Palm Beach the last few days already in people’s minds that seemed heavy-handed…)


The point is, if you have the money to take a yacht around the world, you take precautions if you’re going into dangerous waters.  Avoidance is usually a good idea, especially for small craft without provision for arms.  That said, the S/V Quest’s Emergency Card with their piracy plan shows that they weren’t blithely ignorant of the possibility; somehow, Point 1 didn’t seem to have happened for them.  And as noted, as a target of opportunity, their captors probably didn’t have anything thought out ahead of time with which to use against them.


All we can say for now is, expect an American reaction and interest close to what surrounded Paul and Rachel Chandler during their ordeal.  My hope’s for a quicker release than the Chandlers faced that ends successfully…


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