Family's believe 'pirate kidnap couple' are safe

THE brother of a woman thought to have been kidnapped with her husband by Somali pirates believes the couple could be sailing through the Indian Ocean oblivious to reports of their hijack.

Simon Tomlinson

THE brother of a woman thought to have been kidnapped with her husband by Somali pirates believes the couple could be sailing through the Indian Ocean oblivious to reports of their hijack.

Paul Chandler, 58, and his wife Rachel, 55, went missing while sailing their yacht through waters near Somalia notorious for pirate attacks.

But Mrs Chandler's brother, Stephen Collett of Ixworth near Bury St Edmunds said the couple were quite possibly heading for Tanzania and were out of mobile phone range.

Before leaving to meet Government officials in London this morning to find out any further developments he told the EADT that his family were as much in the dark over this as anyone else.

He added: “We have been speaking to the foreign office but all reports coming out of Somalia are totally unverified at the moment. There are reports of a Somali pirate claiming he has them and I've heard reports that he wants �20,000 just to tell the story so I'm not taking anything as truth yet.”

Most Read

He said if reports of their kidnap were true his sister and brother-in-law were aware of the risks they faced.

“My sister and brother-in-law are certainly not a wealthy couple. I think everything they've got is invested in their boat, so if they have been captured then the pirates have got the boat, which is as much as they're going to find really.”

He added: “They should be well treated because pirates tend to do things for ransom. They don't want dead bodies - they want healthy people to be able to bargain with.

“If the worst has happened, it happened doing something they enjoyed.”