Paul and Rachel ChandlerBritish hostages Paul and Rachel Chandler were released on Sunday night (Nov 14th) by Somali pirates after over a year in captivity.

The couple, described as "skinny and bony" said that they were "pleased to be alive". They were handed over in the small town of Adado in Somalia.

The Chandlers, from Tunbridge Wells, were taken hostage after their yacht was seized by pirates in October 2009.

Since their release, they have stayed at the British High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya after being flown from the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Secret talks with the pirates, involving the couple's friends and supporters and including local Somali clan elders, political leaders and expatriates in the UK led to the release. It is reported that a ransom fee of $1 million (600,000 pounds) was paid, but David Cameron has said "The government has a policy on ransom payments which is we don't do them."

The Chandler family also said "The family believes it would be irresponsible to discuss any aspect of the release process as this could encourage others to capture private individuals and demand large ransom payments, something that we are sure none of us wants."

More news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2010 Issue
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