Don’t Mention the Pirates

Paul and Rachel Chandler are setting sail around the world, just two years after their horrific ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates

The hijack couple are back at sea – just don’t mention the pirates

The Guardian

There is still, says Rachel Chandler, a bullet hole in the boom. An abandoned dagger and a flip-flop are further reminders of the gruelling ordeal that she and her husband, Paul, endured after Somali pirates, operating thousands of miles from their base in a hijacked merchant ship, stormed their yacht off the Seychelles in October 2009.

But apart from a few small teething problems – there seems to be something the matter with the electric bilge pump and the boat “is smelling a bit”, says Rachel – the 38ft Lynn Rival is shipshape, repaired and ready to resume her voyage. As are the Chandlers, despite the 388 days they spent as captives of the pirates.

“We would have been devastated if we hadn’t been able to carry on,” says Paul, 60, a retired engineer. “It would have been very difficult. You retire early enough, with a dream; you scrimp and save to make it possible … It’s like coming home. The Lynn Rival was to be our chosen home for many years. We’ve been back in her a week.”

The Chandlers survived solitary confinement, a diet of goat’s liver and rice, and severe beatings. Front-page news for more than a year, they were finally……[access full article]

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