EPIRB activated plus statement from Somalis

A British cruising couple appear to have fallen victim to kidnappers near the Seychelles, according to reports in the Sun and Telegraph, Reuters and the BBC.

Paul and Rachel Chandler posted a pre-departure message on their blog last Wednesday (21 October), then activated their Emergency Position Indidicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) early on Friday just 60 nautical miles west of Mahe.

A further message was posted on their blog two hours later saying: PLEASE RING SARAH. They were on a 150NM passage South-west to the Amirante Islandsen route to Tanzania.

On Wednesday the couple wrote: ‘We’ll be at sea for 8 to 12 days, maybe 14 as we are now getting into the period of transition between the south monsoon and north monsoon, so the trade winds will be less reliable and we may get more light winds.  We probably won’t have satellite phone coverage until we’re fairly close to the African coast, so we may be out of touch for some time.’

The couple have been cruising around the Indian Ocean in their Rival 38, Lynn Rival.

Pirate activity has picked up in the area in recent weeks due to the change in the weather.

Reuters and the BBC have reported that a commercial vessel had been snatched by pirates just hours earlier in the same area, and that there has been a statment from a source in Somalia: “The British couple are in our hands now. We captured them as they were touring in the Indian Ocean.”

He said the two captives were healthy and ransom demands would follow.

If you have any further information of use to the family or the authorities, post it on YBW forums