Timeline: Paul and Rachel Chandler kidnap

A picture of Paul and Rachel Chandler taken from their blog
Image caption Paul and Rachel Chandler were held for more than a year

British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler have been released by Somali pirates after being held captive for more than a year. Here is a timeline of events:

23 October 2009:

The Chandlers are taken hostage by gunmen in the Indian Ocean while sailing their yacht, the Lynn Rival, from the Seychelles towards Tanzania.

Pirates 'seize UK yacht couple'

29 October 2009:

The MoD says the yacht is found empty during counter-piracy operations. Speaking by phone to the BBC's Somali Service, Mr Chandler says the couple are being treated well.

'Kidnapped' pair's yacht is found

30 October 2009:

The pirates issue a ransom demand of $7m (£4.7m) in a phone call to the BBC.

Ransom demanded for yacht couple

2 November 2009:

The Chandlers are believed to have been taken to the mainland and moved away from the coast.

Kidnapped pair are 'taken inland'

13 November 2009:

The MoD says the crew of a Royal Navy ship, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker the Wave Knight, watched as the Chandlers were kidnapped. They were ordered not to open fire because they had not wanted to endanger the couple's lives.

MoD vessel 'watched yacht couple'

16 November 2009:

Representatives of the Somali community in the UK record messages - for broadcast on the BBC World Service and Eastern TV Network - appealing to the pirates to free the Chandlers on humanitarian grounds.

Somalis appeal for pair's release

20 November 2009:

The Chandlers say in a video that they fear they could be killed within a week.

Yacht pair plead for ransom talks

27 November 2009:

Their yacht is returned to the UK on board the RFA Wave Knight.

Kidnap couple's yacht back in UK

25 December 2009:

The Chandlers face Christmas in captivity with no immediate sign of their release.

UK pair in captivity at Christmas

21 January 2010:

In a telephone interview with ITN, Mr Chandler says he fears he and his wife will be killed in a matter of days.

Yacht couple 'could die in days'

22 January 2010:

A Whitehall official tells the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner that a UK special forces operation mounted to rescue the Chandlers was "bungled".

Yacht couple rescue 'was bungled'

1 February 2010:

The Foreign Office defends its stance of not paying a ransom to help free the Chandlers, saying it believes that "making concessions only encourages future kidnaps".

Britain defends no-ransom policy

1 March 2010:

In a telephone interview with a Somali television station, Mrs Chandler speaks of her loneliness and torment at being separated from her husband as the couple's wedding anniversary approaches.

Pirate couple speak of 'torment'

3 March 2010:

A spokesman for the pirates says the Chandlers will not be reunited for the foreseeable future.

Pirate couple to remain apart

8 March 2010:

Dr Mohamed Helmi Hangul, who treated the Chandlers, says the couple have been temporarily reunited. They had been separated since January.

Pirates 'reunite captive couple'

9 March 2010:

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed says efforts are being made to free the Chandlers at the "earliest possible date".

Somali hope for Chandlers release

26 May 2010:

In a televised interview, the Chandlers urge Prime Minister David Cameron to clarify whether the government will seek their release.

Captive couple in plea to new PM

23 October 2010:

A sad milestone for the Chandlers as a whole year passes since they were seized.

Grim milestone for UK couple held hostage in Somalia

14 November 2010:

The Chandlers are released by Somali pirates, and are taken to Adado, central Somalia, near the Ethiopian border.

Somali pirates free British pair

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