Local couple killed by pirates
Jean and Scott Adam boarded their yacht, "S/V Quest," some 10 years ago and set sail to accomplish their holy mission in life: to distribute Bibles across the world. Last Tuesday they were killed by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman, giving Americans a wholly different perspective about safety overseas. Scott Adam retired in 2001 and together with Jean decided to delve into the deep waters of the sea, a life-long goal they shared. As members of St. Monica Catholic Church, where Jean sang in the choir, the two set sail to practice and preach Catholicism for nearly a decade.
After allegedly separating from other boats, the Adam's were shot by pirates. Accompanying the Adam's on their journey was Seattle couple Phyllis Macay, 59, and Bob Riggle, 67. The couples were on their way to Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa bordered by Somalia in the southeast. They had been on their way to refuel when pirates attacked.
Jean often updated her family and friends of their adventures and locations they would be going to via the Adam's website called www.SVQuest.com. One of Jean's last entries, which seemed to express some foreboding stated:
"Djibouti is a big refueling stop. I have NO [sic] idea what will happen in these ports, but perhaps we'll do some local touring. Due north is the Red Sea where we plan to tuck in when winds turn to the north."
Ed Archer, the choir director and a teacher at St. Monica Catholic High School knew Jean and Scott before they were married. Archer recalls eating dinner on the yacht during a choir party, adding that Jean had sung in the choir since what he believes was in the ‘90s.
Archer and other members of the choir performed music for the Adam's at their wedding. The last time Archer saw the Adam's was in December around Christmas. Archer had been following them on their website throughout the expedition.
Conspiracies are rising as to the motive of the pirates. One speculation is that the Adam's were used as a symbol of revenge by the Somali pirates.
Recently, the U.S. Federal Court sentenced Abduwali Abukhadir Muse to 34 years in prison only two days before the "S/V Quest" was hijacked.
Earlier this week a Somali pirate told an Associated Press reporter in Somalia that pirates would target Americans in retaliation for the sentencing. The pirate, who identified himself by the name Hassan, said Americans would suffer "regrettable consequences," according to an LA Weekly blog.
Maj. Gen. Buster Howes, commander of the European Union anti-piracy force, told AP this month that some of the inflicted horrors used by pirates are: tying hostages upside down and dragging them in the sea, locking them in freezers, beating them and using plastic ties around their genitals.
"Just know that the community is devastated," said Archer. "I can't get them out of my head. It's been difficult and this is a very difficult time for everyone," he said.
Saint Monica's Catholic Church rehearsed Thursday night and had a prayer service for the Adam's afterward. Jean and Scott are survived by their two children, Drew and Brad.
"They loved the experiences they were having with the people they were meeting and the places they were going," Scott Stolnitz, a longtime friend of theirs, told CNN. "We asked them once if they ever looked forward to living on land again, and they both, believe it or not, said ‘no,'" he said.
Stolnitz continued, "They were not proselytizing evangelicals and were using their Bible mission as a way to break the ice in the Christian community, particularly in the Pacific."
Adam's family members are requesting that donations be made out to the St. Monica Catholic Church Music Program. The family has also asked for cards to be sent to the church. Their address is 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403.