Somali Pirates Hijack Yacht With Two Onboard

Somali pirates hijacked a yacht with two people on board after it left the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, the island nation's state broadcaster reported Wednesday.

A government employee familiar with the case told The Associated Press that the vessel Serenity, with two crew from the Seychelles on board, disappeared after it left the islands Feb. 28 en route to Madagascar, which lies about 200 miles to the south.

One of the crew called his family on Tuesday, saying he was being held by pirates and begging for help.

The Seychelles government has contacted the British, French and American governments to ask for their assistance, the government employee said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. It was unclear when the ship was seized.

Somali pirates attack shipping passing their lawless coast almost daily. But their success rate has recently fallen, due in part to an influx of foreign warships into the Gulf of Aden.

Analysts say the naval presence is encouraging the pirates to shift their operations east into the Indian Ocean, toward the Seychelles.