Memorial Held for O.C. Couple Killed by Somali Pirates on Hijacked Yacht

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PASADENA (KTLA) -- A memorial service was held Wednesday for one of the American couples tragically killed by pirates off the coast of Somali last month after being held hostage by their captors for 5 days.

Friends, family members, and former students of Scott Adam gathered to honor the lives of he and his wife, Jean at the Fuller Theological Seminary where he had taught for 3 years.

Experienced boaters and former members of the Del Rey Yacht Club, in Marina Del Rey, the Adams owned the 58-foot yacht that was hijacked Feb. 18.

The couple was traveling on their yacht with Blue Water Rally, a sailing group that travels together through a dangerous section of the Indian Ocean. Fellow boaters said the couple was aware of the danger from pirates in the area, but were determined to make the journey themselves rather than shipping their boat.

According to the group, the Adams broke off from the group just days before their yacht -- the S/V Quest -- was hijacked.

Phylis Macay and Bob Riggle, from the Seattle area -- were also aboard the boat with the Adams.

The boat was headed toward the Somali coast, and was being trailed by U.S. Navy forces before the victims were killed by their captors.

As negotiations continued for the hostages' release, gunshots were heard aboard the yacht around 1 a.m. ET Feb. 22, 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 from Central Command said.

"Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds."

The statement also said that 19 pirates were believed to be involved in the hijacking.

Thirteen were captured in the skirmish, Central Command said. Two more pirates were already in U.S. custody, and the remains of two others were found on board.

Military officials said four Navy warships were involved: an aircraft carrier, a guided-missile cruiser and two guided-missile destroyers.

"We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest," said Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of Central Command.

The bodies of the four Americans are now on board the carrier Enterprise off the Horn of Africa, according to Central Command.

The Adams were traveling the world delivering Bibles to schools and churches. They started their world tour in 2004

The Adams worshiped at St. John's Church in Santa Monica. The congregation there remembered the couple during their Feb. 22 morning Mass.

Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson spoke to KTLA about the Mass.

"My first word to our people today is that they live with God. They have the gift of life... And secondly, an end to violence, the senseless act of murder... that's what we're praying for."

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