Couple kidnapped by Somali pirates back in Britain

17th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Paul and Rachel Chandler were enjoying their first full day in Britain on Wednesday after they returned home following their 13-month ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates.

The couple were said to be exhausted but in good spirits after their flight Tuesday to London from Nairobi, where they had been recuperating at the residence of the British high commissioner.

"They were very weary and tired as any of us would be having been put in their position, but their spirits are high," family spokesman Pat Adamson said.

"I imagine they'll be looked after by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the next 24 to 48 hours, for a debrief, to make sure they are OK and to rest away from the public gaze.

"What happens after that is up to them."

The couple are expected to begin negotiating media interview deals soon. It is believed some of the money earned will be used to help pay back the ransom -- totalling at least 750,000 dollars (550,000 euros) according to Somali elders -- paid for their release.

The Chandlers' plight became one of the most high-profile hostage cases in Somalia's recent, troubled history.

The couple were released on Sunday after a deal was struck with their captors.

They were handed over to local officials in the Somali town of Adado, before being flown to the capital Mogadishu and on to Nairobi.

Publicity expert Max Clifford said the Chandlers could earn a million pounds (1.6 million dollars, 1.2 million euros) from immediate media deals with newspapers, magazines and television channels.

"If you add in book and film deals then that could push up how much they earn by another four million pounds.

"It's a big story with a happy ending and you don't get many like that."

Paul Chandler, 60, and his 57-year-old wife, from Tunbridge Wells in southern England, were seized by pirates on their yacht in October last year as they sailed from the Seychelles for Tanzania.

© 2010 AFP

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