Chandlers piracy hostage incident-Seychelles sets the record straight


08-September-2011

Referring to the story which appeared on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News website of September 5, 2011, the committee said that contrary to what the Chandlers have reported, “they were more than adequately forewarned of the dangers associated with piracy in the Western Indian Ocean and in particular with the route they took on that unfortunate journey”.

“On at least two separate occasions they were advised on the piracy threats associated with the journey that they undertook.  Firstly, before departing Seychelles they had to follow certain procedures to obtain port clearance to sail.  During those stages, they were informed by the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) of the piracy risks associated with their planned journey.  Secondly, they were also advised by the Providence Marina -- a Seychelles based Yacht Charter Company -- where they had been keeping their yacht, of the risks of piracy in the surrounding waters,” the committee stated in a communiqué.

“In addition to media coverage, mariners were continually being informed of piracy risks in the Indian Ocean by the Seychelles Radio Coast Station at Bon Espoir, which provide ship-to-shore maritime communication services,” added the communiqué.

“The Seychellois people sympathise with the Chandlers for the traumatic experience they went through.  However, the responsibility for what happened rests entirely with the Chandlers who decided to take the risks anyway,” said the communiqué.

The Chandlers, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, were spending their retirement sailing the world on their 38ft yacht Lynn Rival when they were captured on October 23, 2009, soon after departing Seychelles for Tanzania. They were forced to sail to Somalia, where they were taken on to land.

The couple were eventually released after spending over a year (388 days) in captivity.

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