Short recording on Sunday Times website

Kidnapped British cruisers, Paul and Rachel Chandler, have begged the Government to free them ‘by whatever means’ before Christmas in their first contact with the outside world for five weeks.

A Somali journalist let the couple use his mobile phone to call the Sunday Times over the weekend.

Paul, a retired surveyor from Tunbridge Wells simply stated:

‘We are captive. We are provided with food and water.  But we are not allowed any communication.’

The couple were kidnapped just off the coast of the Seychelles on 23 October and set off their EPIRB. Their yacht, Lynn Rival was spotted towing two skiffs in the direction of the Somali mainland and although they were within sight of a Royal Navy ship, they were transferred to a larger vessel and held before being moved to land, it’s thought near the town of Harardheere, north of Mogadishu.

In the latest recording, Paul Chandler doesn’t mention his wife’s health, which has been reportedly poor since capture. He also doesn’t mention any specific threat to their own lives, which was the case during their last recorded message five weeks ago.

The new recording is a direct message to the British Government, which has been criticised for refusing to pay any ransom despite reports that the pirates were prepared to accept as little as £100,000 of the £4 million they had originally demanded.

Chandler says: “when you have a criminal gang carrying out a kidnapping they (the government) should not be averse to negotiating with that gang and then following it up by whatever means.’

Listen to the recording here