Somali pirates claim they have British couple hostage

October 28, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A British couple who retired to explore exotic seas have apparently been seized by Somali hijackers in the Indian Ocean.  Paul Chandler, 58, and his wife Rachel, 55, were last heard from early Friday when they set off an emergency radio beacon from their 38-foot yacht the Lynn Rival, followed by an urgent plea to contact their families in London via the Internet, according to the Telegraph.   The last message on the Chandlers’ travel blog was posted on Friday morning and read: “Please ring Sarah.” It is thought the message was to Rachel Chandler’s sister.After a three-day hunt by an international search force, including an American ship, a yacht that appeared to be the Chandlers’ was spotted yesterday 200 miles from the pirate stronghold of Haradhere, Somalia.  A man has since called the Reuters news agency claiming his group captured the Chandlers.

“The British couple are in our hands now” and ransom demands will follow, a Haradhere pirate named Hassan told Reuters.  He said the two captives were healthy and ransom demands would follow.

But the family has said that the couple, were traveling on a “shoestring” budget and cannot afford a hefty ransom payment.

The Chandlers, said to be avid and experienced seafarers, have been sailing around the world for three years.  They were on their way to Tanzania last week, when they entered the troubled waters surrounding the Seychelles, known to be frequented by Somali pirates.

Paul’s sister, Jill Marshment, said.

“They’re not stupid people,” Marshment said. “They do know the dangers, and that is why they spent about seven months in the Seychelles sailing around the islands before possibly they felt ‘It’s safe for us to go over to Africa.'”


Comments

One Response to “Somali pirates claim they have British couple hostage”

  1. Old Man Dotes on October 28th, 2009 11:36 am

    It’s time for the legitimate governments of the world to send massive sea power to Somalia; and there needs to be a standing order to shoot to kill pirates (and keep shooting until they are dead). If everyone refused to negotiate and pay ransoms, they would have no incentive to continue committing piracy.

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