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Old 13-11-2010, 23:18   #1
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Smile British Couple Released After a Year in Captivity

I just pulled this off of Fox news.

Somali pirates freed Paul and Rachel Chandler, ending the retired British couple's year-long captivity, AFP news agency reported Sunday.

The Chandlers arrived in Adado Saturday, a central Somali town near the Ethiopian border, after the pirates handed them over to the forces of the local self-proclaimed administration of Himan and Heeb.

The couple looked tired but showed no outward sign of ill health as they were given cell phones to make calls as soon as they entered the compound housing the administration headquarters under heavy guard.

The Chandlers were held hostage for more than a year after their yacht was captured in the Indian Ocean, off the Seychelles.

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Old 14-11-2010, 00:15   #2
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Thanks for posting that.
That is fantastic news.
Hopefully some kind of book deal will give them enough to replace their boat... assuming they want to!

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Old 14-11-2010, 01:26   #3
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Glad that's finally over, great news to wake up to.
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Old 14-11-2010, 01:44   #4
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Great to hear!
Best of luck to them and their family.
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Old 14-11-2010, 03:10   #5
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I'm pretty sure their yacht was found adrift, minus any thing of value, just off the coast of Somalia on Oct 29, 2009. Don't know where the Royal Navy towed it to though.
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Old 14-11-2010, 03:38   #6
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I look forward to the whole story and movie.
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Old 14-11-2010, 03:44   #7
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Great news!!!!

They sold their house in the UK, and bought the yacht to travel around the world.

'We were an ordinary couple,' said Paul in the interview with ITN.

But their ordeal makes them an extraordinary duo: they have survived the longest captivity under Somali pirates (who are holding more than 400 crewmembers for ransom).

While they were not physically tortured (except once when they refused to be split), the Chandlers said the amount of emotional torture subjected to them is wrenching.

'They kept us in solitary confinement for long periods of times,' said Paul, who said he has never been separated from his wife for more than few days. The couple have been married for 30 years, and since they do not have children, they said their bond is exceptionally strong.

Another doctor, Dr Hangul, who visited with the couple a few times, said he was impressed by their resilience. The captors tried to break the Chandlers' spirit, he said, 'but their strength and character is truly humbling'.

The Chandlers' family told reporters: 'We are delighted,' but have not yet released a formal statement.

Meanwhile, the Chandlers are expected to be reunited with family and friends in Britain, where the government has prepared a national homecoming event for them.

This release takes the number of cruising sailors held as hostages by Somali pirates from four back to two. Pirates kidnapped three South African yachtsmen aboard their yacht Coizil about two weeks ago. The skipper, Peter Eldridge, escaped by jumping overboard when the yacht ran aground in southern Somalia and he was rescued by the European Union's anti-piracy task force. The other two, Bruno Pelizzari and his partner Deborah, are being held captive. onshore.
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 14-11-2010, 05:01   #8
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Any word on what ransom was paid?
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Old 14-11-2010, 05:07   #9
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Another $300K now + $500K previously, according to
Somalia kidnap: Paul and Rachel Chandler freed - Channel4 News
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Old 14-11-2010, 05:09   #10
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Around half a million.... apparently local Somali's intervened with more cash and protests which helped get it done...
According to Sky News
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Old 14-11-2010, 05:53   #11
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"... The pirates who were holding them told Channel 4 News that a $300,000 ransom was delivered in the last few days, most of it believed to have come from the Somali government.

Around $500,000 is understood to already have been paid by the Chandler's relatives ..."
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Old 14-11-2010, 08:37   #12
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More From Fox

This was the head line this morning.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A British couple kidnapped off their private yacht by Somali pirates more than a year ago were set free Sunday, ending one of the most drawn-out and dramatic hostage situations since the rash of piracy began off East Africa.

Paul and Rachel Chandler looked relaxed and smiled through a small ceremony held in the Somali town of Adado after their morning release. Rachel Chandler told The Associated Press by phone: "We are happy to be alive."

Pirates boarded the Chandler's 38-foot yacht the night of Oct. 23, 2009, while sailing from the island nation of Seychelles. The couple, married for almost three decades, took early retirement about four years ago and were spending six-month spells at sea.

Despite an international flotilla of warships and aircraft, pirates continue to prowl the Indian Ocean off Somalia seemingly at will, pouncing on pleasure craft, fishing vessels and huge cargo ships.

Efforts to free the couple by the Somali diaspora, the weak Mogadishu-based government and Britain had failed until now. The couple on Sunday flew from Adado to Mogadishu and after a short stop continued on to Kenya's capital.

On Oct. 23, the boat that Paul and Rachel Chandler were sailing on with 21 crewmembers aboard was hijacked by pirates. The British couple were on a worldwide boating vacation when they were seized.

Fox News communicated via satellite phone with one of the pirates, who said the couple was safe. The presumed pirates refused to answer other questions and would not let reporters speak to the Chandlers.

"We are happy to be alive, happy to be here, desperate to see our family, and so happy to be amongst decent, everyday people, Somalis, people from anywhere in the world who are not criminals, because we've been a year with criminals and that's not a very nice thing to be doing," Rachel Chandler said at a news conference in Mogadishu.

The pirates set the couple free at about 4 a.m., said the leader of the government administration in Adado, Mohamed Aden. When they arrived in Adado they were taken to a safe house, took a shower and changed clothes. They then took about a 90-minute nap, Aden said. When they awoke they had what he called a "British" breakfast of fried eggs.

The couple attended a ceremony with several dozen people seated in blue plastic chairs. Rachel Chandler wore a bright red dress and red scarf. Paul Chandler wore a mauve-colored short shirt and a green patterned sarong. Both appeared thin, suggesting they did not eat very much while in the control of pirates in a sweltering region near the Ethiopia border.

"The community expressed their sorrow over their captivity and they told them that the pirates don't represent all Somalis but they represent a fringe part of the community," Aden told AP.

"The Chandlers thanked the community in return and they said they are grateful for anyone who played a role in their release."

In the Somali capital, the couple walked across the airport tarmac, smiling and thanking people. Paul Chandler had a large camera around his neck and was taking photos.

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed met the couple and said the government was pleased they had been freed. He said the government had "exerted every humanly possible effort to bring you back to your loved ones."

The couple then got back aboard a private jet for the trip to Nairobi.

Dahir Abdullahi, a Somali who helped negotiate the Chandlers' release, said the couple talked to their relatives by phone shortly after being set free.

Abdi Mohamed Elmi, a Somali doctor who has regularly attended to the couple and was involved in efforts to free them, said the Chandlers will now need more specialized attention.

"They need counseling and rest to recover from the situation they have been living in for the last 13 months," Elmi said. "But now they seem OK and were happy this morning. They had showers, changed clothes and had breakfast with us smiling."

Despite the Chandlers' release, Somali pirates still hold close to 500 hostages and more than 20 vessels. The pirates typically only release hostages for multimillion dollar ransoms.

Conflicting reports from Somali officials about the Chandlers' release said either a $300,000 ransom for "expenses" was paid or that a $1 million ransom that was contributed to by the Somali diaspora was paid.

Britain's Foreign Office has always insisted that the British government never pays any ransom to hostage takers. A spokeswoman said the ministry wasn't immediately able to comment on the release.

The Chandlers do not come from a wealthy background, part of the reason their hostage ordeal took so long. A serious attempt to free them was made in June, according to a Nairobi-based Western official. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $450,000 was dropped from a plane to free the couple, but pirates had been negotiating with different groups of people, and the effort to free the couple fell through, said the official, who could not be identified by name because of the nature of his work.

Somali pirates have made tens of millions of dollars from the piracy trade over the last several years, fueling a building boom in Somali neighborhoods of Nairobi and a spending spree on cars, women and guns in pirate towns.

Pirates set off on small skiffs and fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at passing ships in order to take them over. When they succeed, shipping companies often pay millions in ransom to win the release of their crew, ship and cargo.

International navies have taken a more aggressive approach this year to stop the pirates, and vessels often employ armed, private security on board. But the hijackings have persisted, in part because of how vast the sea is, and because of the high pay pirates can make in a country where little economic opportunities exist.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
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Old 14-11-2010, 10:26   #13
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Just heard about this via of all places Al Jazeera's "english" channel. At the end of the report it was stated "over 500 hostages remain and 29 ships."

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Old 14-11-2010, 23:29   #14
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After 388 days, Somali pirates free British couple

British couple held captive in Somalia released.

NAIROBI, Kenya – The retired British couple were sailing the world on a 38-foot-yacht that represented most of their life savings when Somali pirates captured them last year, demanding the sort of huge ransom a multimillionaire or a multinational company might cough up.
The fact that Paul and Rachel Chandler couldn't pay a big ransom helped stretch out their ordeal 388 agonizing days — until Sunday, when they were released thin and exhausted, but smiling. It was one of the longest and most dramatic hostage situations since the Somali piracy boom began several years ago...
For the rest of the story, go to : After 388 days, Somali pirates free British couple - Yahoo! News
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Old 15-11-2010, 00:09   #15
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I saw this, and the interviews on BBC this morning. What a relief that two innocents are finally free and in a place of safety.
So many, without the resources and back up to pay the ransomes, will remain there, future uncertain.

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