Nightly News | February 22, 2011
>>> side of the world, there's been a tragic end to a very tense situation for four americans on board a small yacht that was hijacked by pirates in very dangerous waters . waters the americans knew were dangerous just off the coast of somalia. as the u.s. was negotiating their release, the ordeal took a sudden ugly turn. our report tonight from our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski .
>> reporter: the four americans were on a dream voyage around the world, when pirates hijacked their yacht four days ago. this morning, off the coast of somalia, fbi negotiators were still talking to the pirates holding the americans hostage, when suddenly it all went terribly wrong. military officials say, without warning, one of the pirates aboard the yacht, fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the destroyer. almost immediately, americans a aboard the warship heard gunshots from the warship below. navy seals raced toward the boat in small inflatable boats. most of the pirates surrendered as the seals boarded the yacht. once below deck they made a gruesome discovery.
>> all for hostages had been shot by their captors. despite immediate steps to provide life saving care, all four of the american hostages died of their wounds.
>> reporter: the seals were forced to kill two pirates , one in a knife fight, and found two others apparently shot dead by fellow pirates . the americans killed were scott and jean adam and phyllis mackay and bob riggle. in seattle, riggle's friends took the news hard.
>> it was a shock. we just truly thought they would make it back. he was doing what he loved. he was just absolutely passionate about it. and was good at it.
>> reporter: investigators are now grilling the 15 pirates in custody, to figure out just what went wrong among the pirates on board, and what triggered the shooting that killed the four americans . it's almost certain, however, that all 15 will be brought back here to the united states to face trial. brian?
>> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon tonight. thanks.