This intense look at the play by play of a pirate attack is well-worth the read.
From The New York Times:
“It wasn’t really a pretty night,” Rachel Chandler recalled. Small, sloshing waves were coming from the southeast, and a trickle of wind blew from the southwest. There was no moon, and the stars were shrouded by clouds.
The boat was slowly edging away from Mahé, the main island in the Seychelles archipelago, for Tanga, Tanzania, the beginning of a two-week passage across the Indian Ocean. The wind was pushing them farther north than they’d planned to be. With no ships or land in sight, the Chandlers’ 38-foot sailboat, the Lynn Rival, bobbed along all alone.
Rachel, who is 57, was on watch — it was her turn to do the four-hour shift — and her husband, Paul, was asleep below deck. It was about 2:30 a.m., and she sat in a T-shirt and light trousers at the stern, feeling seasick. Because the wind was so faint, Rachel turned on the sailboat’s small engine, which chugged along at five knots, just loud enough to drown out other noise.
By the time she heard the high-pitched whine of outboard motors at full throttle, she had only seconds to react. Two skiffs suddenly materialized out of the murk, and when she swung the flashlight’s beam onto the water, two gunshots rang out.
“No guns! No guns!” she screamed.
The crack of assault rifles jarred Paul awake. He had been sleeping naked — as he often does on tropical nights — and hesitated before jumping out of the cabin. “The first thing I thought,” said Paul, who is 61, “was pirates.”
Within seconds, eight scruffy Somali men hoisted themselves aboard, their assault rifles and rocket-propelled-grenade launchers clanging against the hull. Paul activated an emergency beacon, which immediately started emitting an S.O.S., and then went up on deck. The men stank of the sea and nervous musk, and they jabbed their guns at the Chandlers.
For the complete story, go to www.nytimes.com.