Organizers of an international yacht race have identified two more Americans who were on board the yacht taken hostage by Somali pirates off East Africa.
Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle are believed to be on board the Quest, a yacht that has been home to Jean and Adam Scott, a couple who according to news reports are members of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey. The couple has been traveling around the world since 2004. The trip was part adventure, part ministry, as they handed out Bibles along the way.
According the organizers of the Blue Water Rally on Sunday the Adams' had been participating in a race but left it Feb. 15 to take an independent course from India to Oman.
On their website, rally organizers identified the other two Americans aboard as Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle. The NBC TV station in Seattle, Washington said MacKay and Riggle are from Seattle.
According to a report form ABC News the pirates are now saying the Quest is expected to make landfall in Somalia on Sunday, which may lessen the chance of a rescue at sea.
The pirates took control of the yacht Quest on Friday in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia.
On Saturday night, parishioners said a prayer for Jean and Scott Adams, who are longtime members of Saint Monica's Church in Santa Monica.
On Saturday Mark Savage, who is Jean Adams' brother, said he had learned that the U.S. Navy had the couple's yacht in sight. The yacht was taken hostage on Friday and earlier today the government said it was assessing possible responses.
"If that's true, that is great news," he wrote in an e-mail to the Register
Savage, who lives on Balboa Island, said the Marina Del Rey couple was experienced and often commissioned members of the Orange Coast College Sailing Program to join them on their voyages.
"These are wonderful people trying to do good wherever they have traveled," he wrote. "They were traveling in a group – strength in numbers. These are highly experienced sailors in international waters and all vessels should have free passage on the seas."
The couple has been logging their journey on a website that includes photos from the dozens of ports they have visited. The Catholic couple held religion close to their hearts and, in some places, distributed Bibles to villagers willing to learn about the religion.
The couple has traveled to New Zealand, Thailand, the Cooks Islands and the Philippines, according to their website. Their plan this year was to join the Blue Water Rally, an organized yacht event that would take them through the Mediterranean and include Sri Lanka and India. Afterward, the pair had planned to go to Turkey and London.
The couple last visited the port in Djibouti, according to their website.
Pirates have increased attacks off the coast of East Africa in recent years despite an international flotilla of warships dedicated to protecting vessels and stopping the pirate assaults.
The best known case of Westerners being held hostage in Somalia was that of Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple held for 388 days. The two, who were captured while sailing in their private yacht, were released in November.
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."
Pirates have recently tied hostages upside down and dragged them in the sea, locked them in freezers, beaten them and used plastic ties around their genitals, the commander of the European Union anti-piracy force, Maj. Gen. Buster Howes told AP this month.
The Associated Press and Fox News contributed to this report.