Kidnapped by Somali pirates, Michael Scott Moore

Kidnapped by Somali pirates, journalist Michael Scott Moore spent two and half years in captivity. At times he was held on land, other times at sea. Once, when he was on a 160-foot tuna boat, he tried to escape by jumping over the side at night.

“It was, like, a 20 foot leap off the deck of the ship, and I was just exultant at first,” Moore says.

Moore had hoped the pirates would leave him behind in the water. “The engine wasn’t in terrific shape, so I didn’t think there was a way to turn around the ship,” he says.

Instead, the captain cut the engine and let the boat drift towards him. As the big industrial ship closed in on him in the dark water, Moore made a snap decision: He opted to get back on board.
What It’s Like To Be Held Hostage By Somali Pirates For 2 1/2 Years
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What It’s Like To Be Held Hostage By Somali Pirates For 2 1/2 Years

“They found me eventually with the search lights and I raised my hand and they threw me a life preserver,” he says. “By that point everything was pretty desperate and pretty hopeless.”

The pirates had initially demanded a $20 million ransom, but as the years passed, Moore’s mother negotiated the figure down to $1.6 million. Eventually she raised enough money to free her son.

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