Pirates Hijack Yacht, Kidnap UK Couple
Brits reportedly safe after yacht seized off Somalia
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2009 8:35 AM CDT
Sailors and Royal Marines from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Portland battle pirates off the Somalian coast earlier this year. A British couple was kidnapped by pirates hundreds of miles from the coast.   (AP Photo,Alex Cave, Royal Navy, ho)

(Newser) – A British couple whose yacht went missing in the Indian Ocean four days ago is being held by Somali pirates. The couple was captured during a round-the-world trip while sailing from the Seychelles to Tanzania; five international warships were searching hundreds of miles off the African coast for the pair. A pirate told the Times of London that they had "hijacked" the boat and that the couple was "healthy and in our hands."

The pirate did not say where the couple was taken, but a ransom demand is expected soon. Somalia has not had a functioning government for nearly 20 years, and the coast of the African nation has become the world's most dangerous area for piracy. This year alone 163 pirate attacks have been reported, many supported by assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.