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Seychelles: Cruising Couple Kidnapped by Somali Pirates

By Sue Richards last modified Nov 14, 2010 05:01 PM

Published: 2010-11-14 17:01:14
Topics: Piracy Reports 2009
Countries: Seychelles

Final Update posted 14 November 2010

Paul and Rachel Chandler were released on Sunday 14 November 2010, 388 days after their capture. See here for the report.

The initial report of the Chandler´s kidnapping was posted October 2009, however has been updated with a list of subsequent reports about the case (see bottom).

On Friday 22 October 2009 in the Indian Ocean, Somali Pirates siezed the cruising yacht "Lynn Rival", owned by Paul and Rachel Chandler (a British couple) who were on a 150NM passage southwest to the Amirante Islands, en route to Tanzania from the Seychelles.

The Seychelles coastguard dispatched an aircraft to search for the yacht after picking up a distress signal on the Friday and foreign naval ships and planes fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean also joined the search. A chopper from the European Union Naval Force Somalia - a British-led anti-piracy operation - said it had spotted the vessel 200 miles to the east of the Somali port Haradheere. It was towing two skiffs - small, fast boats used by the armed gangs.

The Chandlers confirmed they were 60 miles from Victoria in the Seychelles when they were boarded by pirates in the middle of night. Both were asleep at the time. Three boats came alongside and men with guns came aboard and forced the couple to sail six days towards Somalia.

The pirates took everything of value off the boat and set it adrift, moving Paul and Rachel Chandler to a Singaporean ship, the Kota Wajar, that was hijacked several weeks previously. From here the Chandlers were allowed to call ITV News in the UK.

Following the phone call, the couple were believed to be moved and held captive in a village in Somalia, before being transferred to another ship.

A few days later the pirates made a ransom demand of $7m (£4.3m) in a call to the BBC.

At the time of updating this report (April 2010), Paul and Rachel Chandler were still being held in captivity in Somalia.

For subsequent reports about this case see the following:
- October 2009: Confirmed - Lynn Rival kidnapped by Somali pirates
- October 2009: Ransom Demand for Paul and Rachel Chandler
- November 2009: Update on British Couple Kidnapped by Somali Pirates
- November 2009: British Kidnap Couple Make Video Plea
- November 2009/April 2010: Friends of Paul and Rachel Chandler
- December 2009: Update on Kidnapped Cruisers
- December 2009: No Turkey Christmas for Kidnapped Sailors
- January 2010: Somali pirates holding Britons issue terrifying ultimatum
- January 2010: Kidnapped British Yachting Couple - In Captivity for over 100 Days
- February 2010: Pirates reduce ransom for Chandlers after pressure from abroad
- March 2010: British couple held by Somali pirates could be free within days