Pirates threaten to ‘burn their bones’

The Ministry of Defence today confirmed that they had found Lynn Rival, the Rival 38 owned by Paul, 58, and Rachel Chandler, 55, during anti-piracy operations on Wednesday but the couple from Tunbridge Wells were not onboard. The yacht was found in international waters and has been secured by the Royal Navy.

‘We do not have any reason to believe they have been harmed,’ said an MOD spokesman. ‘Royal Naval vessels operating with our international partners under EU, NATO and combined maritime forces will continue to play a full role in efforts to secure Paul and Rachel’s release.’

Rachel Chandler’s brother Stephen Collett met Somalian premier Omar Sharmarke in London on Wednesday. ‘He told us they do look after hostages well as they see them as trade goods and want to keep them so they can barter,’ said Mr Collett after the meeting. ‘Unfortunately they have no money, it’s all in the yacht.’

While their safety seems secure for now, the pirates have warned of dire consequences if military measures are taken to free the Chandlers. Speaking to The Times yesterday, a pirate called Mohamed Shakir said ‘They are old and we will take care of them – that is if we are not attacked. We are telling Britain that any bullet of our friends on the yacht will be big cries for the families of the two people we hold. We warn them, any attack on us, they will burn their two people’s bones.’