Here’s an excerpt from the CNN report:
As negotiations were ongoing with the pirates for the hostages’ release, gunfire was heard at about 1 a.m. ET Tuesday, U.S. Central Command said.
"As (U.S. forces) responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors," the statement said. "Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds."
The pirates engaged the U.S. forces on board, officials said. Two pirates were killed in the skirmish and 13 were captured and detained. Two others were already in U.S. forces custody, the statement said, and the remains of two pirates were found on board. "In total, it is believed 19 pirates were involved in the hijacking" of the vessel, Central Command said.
"We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest," Gen. James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander, said in a statement.
I don’t have anything clever or profound to say here. This sucks.
Actually, I have one thing to say: The only good thing to come out of this particular incident might be the example it serves, demonstrating once again that hijacking American vessels is bad for business.
I’m still interested in following up on the gear/technology angle. Obviously US naval forces were able to locate the vessel, whether via EPIRB, SPOT, or through other means. What occurred there? What was the sequence of events?
Also, when US forces boarded the yacht, the bodies of two pirates, already dead for some time, were found. What happened there? Did Quest’s crew mount some sort of defense during the original encounter, or did those pirates die of some other causes?
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the crew of