U.S. officials confirmed that a yacht with four Americans aboard has been seized by Somali pirates in the waters of the Indian Ocean. The yacht is about 58 ft in size and belongs to Jean and Scott Adam, who have been sailing the boat around the world for the past seven years. The advocacy group Ecoterra International says its monitoring of regional maritime activity off the coast of East Africa indicates four Americans aboard the yacht S/V Quest were seized by pirates 240 nautical miles off the coast of Oman.
It is not clear whether the Adams — who were on a worldwide cruise — are onboard.
The U.S. military is prepared to intervene in the situation if necessary, said Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, deputy commander of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain.
Jean and Scott Adam — along with two other unidentified Americans — were attacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia.
The U.S. military is weighing a response, a spokesman told The Associated Press on Saturday.
“We’re aware of the situation and we continue to monitor it,” the military spokesman said.
There have been no reports of a ransom request.
The Adams have been sailing around the world for more than six years on their yacht, the Quest, according to a website the couple has, detailing their journey.
“Another aspect of our travels is friendship evangelism – that is, finding homes for thousands of Bibles,” the website states.
The couple belongs to a yacht club in Marina Del Rey, Calif.
“We were so unhappy being ‘dirt dwellers’ during our time in the States that another floating abode had to be acquired,” Jean Adam wrote on the site.
A post earlier this year said they would refuel in Djibouti waters, another pirate flash point.
“Djibouti is a big refueling stop,” said the post, which is not dated. “I have no idea what will happen in these ports, but perhaps we’ll do some local touring.”
“If the owners are onboard, it would be a sad log for the couple on their seven-year world journey,” Ecoterra International, a piracy tracking group, said.
Piracy has flourished off the coast of Somalia, which has not had an effective government for two decades. In April 2009, pirates seized the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama, leading to a standoff in the Indian Ocean.
U.S. forces moved to rescue American Capt. Richard Phillips after seeing a pirate aiming a weapon on his back, officials said at the time. Three pirates were killed and one was arrested.
The Somali man arrested was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.