Hijacked California sailor sought to mix faith, adventure
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Hijacked California sailor sought to mix faith, adventure


LOS ANGELES » A friend and former professor of a California man whose yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates said Sunday that Scott Adam wanted to combine his love of adventure with his faith by spreading Bibles around the world.

Professor Robert K. Johnston of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena told The Associated Press that Adam — who last year earned a master of theology degree from the school — had sent friends e-mails detailing his international sailing trip. But Adam went silent Feb. 12 to avoid revealing the location of his yacht, the Quest, to pirates.

"He was sailing around the world and serving God, two of his passions," Johnston said.

Organizers of the Blue Water Rally yacht race said passengers of the sailboat owned by Adam and his wife, Jean, carried them and two other Americans, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, both of Seattle. It was hijacked Friday off the coast of Oman. It is now in the waters between Yemen and northern Somalia, two pirates and a Somali government official told The Associated Press.

Johnston said that despite an adventurous spirit, the Adams were meticulous planners who knew the dangers they faced. The couple had sailed with a large flotilla to stay safe from pirates near Thailand earlier in the trip.

"They knew and we knew they still had to go by the Somalia coast," he said. "We’re asking people to pray for them."

Adam, now in his mid-60s, had been an associate producer in Hollywood when he turned in a spiritual direction and enrolled in the seminary a decade ago, Johnston said.

"He decided he could take his pension, and he wanted to serve God and humankind," he said.

Johnston and Adam worked together to start a film and theology institute. Adam also taught a class on church and media at the school.

Since 2004, the Adams lived on their yacht in Marina Del Rey for about half the year and the rest of the year they sailed around the world, often distributing Bibles in remote parts of the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia, Johnston said.

Craig Detweiler, a professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, who attended Fuller with Adams in the 1990s and early 2000s, also recalled his friend’s adventurous spirit.

"It is safe to say all of his family and friends covet the prayers and concerns of the international community," Detweiler said.


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