Two former Long County High School students, Trevor Ribal and Eric Boyd, were on board the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier earlier this week when the U.S. military took down a group of Somali pirates who hijacked a yacht and killed four Americans. The 15 captured pirates and the bodies of the Americans are headed to the United States on the USS Enterprise, ABCnews.com reported.
According to Associated Press reports, the Somali pirates hijacked the S/V Quest, a privately owned vessel, last Friday and took the four Americans onboard hostage. The four were identified as Jean and Scott Adam of California, who owned the yacht, and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, who were from Seattle. The Adams had been sailing around the world on their boat since 2004.
After the yacht was taken over by hijackers, four Navy ships, including the Enterprise, were sent to the S/V Quest’s location off the coast of east Africa to monitor the pirates’ actions. Reports indicate that on Tuesday, shots were heard coming from the Quest followed by the pirates firing a rocket-propelled grenade at one of the ships tailing it, the USS Sterett. The shot missed the ship and Navy seamen overtook the Quest, killing two pirates and taking 15 into custody. Two other pirates were found dead on the yacht, but their cause of death has not been determined.
Kelly Clary, Trevor Ribal’s mother, talked about the dangers faced by her son and fellow seaman Boyd.
“They are performing a mission that us as citizens need not know. We just need to remember that the military is a very important part of our safety in this world. I’m glad that they were where they could help in this current situation,” Clary said.
The proud mom also said she’s happy her son chose to serve the nation. “I love that he’s involved in keeping this country safe for us; these days you never know what can happen,” she said.
Clary acknowledges that military assignments can be dangerous, but she knows deployed men and women are well-trained.
“These sailors are well aware of the risks in other parts of the world. They are trained to deal with those risks and keep themselves and us safe back home,” she said. “Sometimes things happen that are out of anyone’s control. I send wishes of safety and support to my sailors on the USS Enterprise.”
Ribal is an electronics technician and Boyd is an operations specialist; both men hold the rank of petty officer 3. Boyd graduated from LCHS in 2004 and Ribal graduated in 2006. As crew members on the USS Enterprise’s 21st mission, the two have been to Turkey and Portugal during the ship’s deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.