Transcript of conversation with kidnapped yachtsman

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The Independent Online

Captive Briton Paul Chandler today told of the dramatic moment Somali pirates took his yacht in the Indian ocean.

Mr Chandler was interviewed from a container ship a mile off the Somali coast after pirates contacted ITV News.



The conversation with ITV's Angus Walker happened six days after Mr Chandler and his wife Rachel were taken captive en route to Tanzania.



Walker managed to make contact with Mr Chandler, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, at just before 11am GMT today.



An ITV spokesman explained: "People purporting to be Somalian pirates made contact with ITV News.



"Following numerous conversations with this group, ITV News was called by a pirate who facilitated a conversation between Paul Chandler and ITV News UK editor Angus Walker.



"ITV News immediately informed the Chandlers' family and the Foreign Office, and Stephen Collett (Mrs Chandler's brother) verified that the voice was that of his brother-in-law Paul Chandler."



Here is the full transcript of the call:



Walker: "I have a message from Stephen. Stephen says everyone here is fine, we are all thinking of you and just hope you are both well - can't wait to speak to you and see you."



Mr Chandler: "Well that's awfully nice (laughs)."



Walker: "Paul, can you describe how you are being held?"



Mr Chandler: "We are at the moment in the captain's cabin of the container ship Kota Wajah - container ship.



Walker: What kind of ship?"



Mr Chandler: "A container ship."



Walker: Have you been rescued or have you been kidnapped?



Mr Chandler: We are hostage together with this ship.



Walker: Can you describe how you were taken hostage?



Mr Chandler: "Yes we were ... miles from the ... to the Seychelles."



Walker: "And what happened?"



Mr Chandler: "Came alongside - I was off watch - I was asleep and men with guns came aboard - it was on Friday last week at 0230 local time."



Walker: "What happened then?"



Mr Chandler: "Then we were forced to sail er ... sail on motor towards Somalia ..."



Walker: "How far are you off the Somali coast at the moment do you think?"



Mr Chandler: "One mile - we are at anchor."



Walker: "Do you know what the nearest town is?"



Mr Chandler: "Where is the nearest town? Hang on a minute ... now what the nearest town is ... hang on a minute. Hello did you get that?"



Walker: "Didn't get name of town. Could you repeat?"



Mr Chandler: "Ubdu - due east from Mogadishu - about 200 miles."



Walker: "Have your hostage-takers demanded any ransom?"



Mr Chandler: "Not officially - they kept asking for money and took everything of value on the boat."



Walker: "Do you know what nationality of ship you are being held on?"



Mr Chandler: "Yes - a container ship - name is Kota Wajah - a Singapore ship."



Walker: "How are you being treated?"

* Contact was then lost.

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