Thursday, October 29, 2009

Somali pirates allow kidnapped couple to phone home

Paul Chandler, who was kidnapped by Somali pirates, has spoken of the moment he and his wife were taken from their yacht at gunpoint in a phone call from the ship where they are being held hostage.

Mr Chandler, 59, a retired quantity surveyor, and his wife, 55, an economist, were captured after sailing from the Seychelles towards Tanzania on Friday.
Speaking over the phone to ITV news, Mr Chandler said:"I was asleep and men with guns came aboard.""I was off watch. I was asleep and men with guns came aboard. It was on Friday last week at 0230." His brother-in-law, Stephen Collett, 58, confirmed that it was his voice which was heard during the call. Mr Chandler said the couple were forced to sail towards Somalia after their boat was captured by pirates . He and wife Rachel were now being held "hostage" on a container ship called the Kota Wajah, he said. His captors have not asked for a ransom, he said: "Not officially - they kept asking for money and took everything of value on the boat."
The latest dramatic twist came as British officials were attempting to secure the couple's release amid reports they were now held in Somalia. Earlier on Thursday the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Chandler's £60,000 boat, the Lynn Rival, had been located but the couple were not on board. ..more..