Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Kidnapped woman considered suicide

Rachel Chandler, pictured with husband Paul, said she contemplated suicide while being held by Somali pirates

Hostage Rachel Chandler contemplated suicide as she and her husband were held captive by Somali pirates, the now-freed woman has said.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 56-year-old woman from Kent said she was tormented by her guards, who would claim her husband Paul had been killed or had left her.

At her lowest, she thought of ending her own life, but knew she had to stay strong for her family.

The couple were freed earlier this month after more than a year in captivity during which they were beaten by their captors.

They were snatched during a round-the-world sailing trip, when their 38-foot yacht, the Lynn Rival, was stormed by armed men. A ransom, reportedly paid by a mixture of private investors and the Somali government, secured their release and ended the 388-day ordeal.

Now back in the UK, the couple have spoken of their captivity.

At first they were kept together, but they were later separated by their captors. Guards would mockingly say to Mrs Chandler: "Where's Paul? Paul no here. Paul gone."

This loneliness compounded her misery, she told the Daily Mail.

Mrs Chandler said: "I did think: 'The only option I have is suicide'. "I thought about dying and about not fearing death because that gave me the strength to face it. I went down there, but then I pulled myself back up."

She added: "When I thought of Paul and my family, I knew I could never kill myself. I could never do that to them. I had to stay strong. But I knew it would be easy to slit my wrists. I had a razor blade."

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