HOSTAGE: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates
By Paul and Rachel Chandler
with Sarah Edworthy
Chicago Review Press, 2012
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a real threat to mariners for the past decade. While these bands of highly organized gangsters have primarily focused their efforts on commercial vessels, Paul and Rachel Chandler’s story is sobering proof that cruising yachtsmen are also clearly at risk in this part of the world.
On the night of Oct. 23, 2009, the Chandler’s 38-foot yacht, Lynn Rival was taken at gunpoint just outside the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. After being held prisoner aboard their boat, they arrived with their captors in Somalia where they would spend more than a year in grueling conditions, often in isolation from one another, as their families negotiated the ransom demands.
Finally freed, the Chandlers tell their story drawing upon personal journal entries and their own recollections of the ordeal. The narrative is gripping and an easy read in one sitting — truly a page-turner.