A group of college students were kidnapped from a catamaran cruise by pirates. The captain and one of the pirates were killed, but the only other crew member, Susan, managed to find a place to hide until she was discovered on the deserted boat by the Five-O.
The pirates demanded a ransom, and McGarrett met with the parents asking them to be patient while the Five-O tried to locate their children.
Clues, and information from Kamekona led the Five-O to a group of pirates. However, after interrogating one of the pirates and further investigation McGarrett believed that the clues pointing towards the pirates were a diversion from the real kidnappers.
Tragedy struck when the parents of one of kidnapped students paid part of the ransom in hopes that the kidnappers would at least release their son. The kidnappers were not amused and killed the young man.
The kidnappers contacted McGarrett and demanded the ransom and plane, on the condition that the money was delivered by Susan, the surviving crew member. The kidnapper made an error when he mentioned that he had seen Susan's name in the newspaper. For Susan's safety McGarrett had asked that the media not reveal her name. This clue allowed the Five-O to see that Susan had been in on the kidnapping along with her fiancé.
The Five-O apprehended the kidnappers and returned the students to their families.