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British kidnap couple speak to family

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 30 October 2009

The British woman being held hostage by Somali pirates along with her husband breaks down in tears as she urges her family not to worry.

Rachel Chandler managed to speak to her brother by phone - and told him they were "bearing up".

Their family have appealed to the pirates to release the couple - but one pirate has told this programme the gang behind the kidnap would decide on a ransom demand tomorrow.

Paul Chandler, 59, and his wife Rachel, 55, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, were captured in the early hours of last Friday when armed men boarded their yacht.

Earlier in an interview with the BBC, Mr Chandler said: "We are being treated well."

He told BBC News they were being fed but was clearly unable to speak freely.

When asked if he was in Somalia, he said: "I can't answer that."

He said he was not aware of any negotiations taking place with his captors.

Asked if he had a message for his family or the British government, he said: "Nothing I can say."

In a separate interview with ITV News he described  the terrifying moment "men with guns came aboard".

"I was off watch. I was asleep and men with guns came aboard. It was on Friday last week at 0230," he said.

At the time of that call, Mr Chandler said the couple were being held "hostage" a mile off the coast of Somalia on the Kota Wajar, a container ship which was hijacked in the Indian Ocean on October 15.

It is now believed they have been taken to a village in Somalia and British officials are trying to secure their release.

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