Tunbridge Wells couple still hostage in Somalia

Today marks the first anniversary of Paul and Rachel Chandler‘s capture by Somalian pirates as they sailed in the Indian Ocean.

The couple were on passage from the Seychelles to Tanzania in October on their Rival 38, Lynn Rival.

In an interview at the time with ITV news, Mr Chandler, a retired civil engineer, said: ‘I was off watch. I was asleep and men with guns came aboard.

‘They kept asking for money and took everything of value on the boat.’

A Royal Navy ship watched as the couple were kidnapped, but the crew was ordered not to shoot.

Initially the couple were held on Kota Wajar, a hijacked Singaporean container ship one mile off the Somalian coast, but they have since been taken to a secure pirate base ashore.

In May a Somalian journalist, Jamal Osman, interviewed the couple, when Mr Chandler, 60, revealed that almost half of their days in captivity have been spent apart, he said: ‘We don’t have children so we’re very close to each other.

‘We’ve never been apart for more than a few days. We’ve been married almost 30 years, so to be separated is real torture.’

Mrs Chandler, 56, added: ‘They never tell us what’s happening next. Especially when we were isolated, when we were on our own, simply not knowing what was happening and whether we would be together again – when, where each other was, was real torture, mental torture.’

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