Two released German hostages have returned to Somaliland to rebuild their yacht

The residents of Berbera, a Somali port in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, call 62-year-old Jurgen Kantner ‘the mad German sailor.’

He and his wife, Sabine Merz were kidnapped in June last year, while sailing their yacht Rockall through the Gulf en route to Thailand, and held for 52 days.

And having heard that their boat was not too badly damaged, they’ve gone back to try and salvage it. With no insurance to claim, they decided it was worth the risk.

“The ‘Rockall’ is not just a yacht.” he told Nancy Knudsen a cruising reporter for ‘My boat is my life and I don’t want to lose her, nothing more. I don’t care about pirates and governments,’

Berbera is located in an informal breakaway country of Somaliland, which is a functioning government and is attempting to be part of the solution in ridding the area of piracy.

They even have a small coastguard consisting of just three small patrol boats to patrol the 860km coastline.

Speaking from Somaliland, Kantner said: ‘I really hope the pirates don’t catch me because this time no-one will pay and everybody will tell the pirates: ‘Keep him’.’

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