British couple freed by Somali pirates after 13 months

Paul and Rachel Chandler were released by Somali pirates around 4 a.m. Sunday after more than a year of being held as hostages.

The British couple had been sailing off the coast of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean on their private 38-foot-yacht when Somali pirates boarded on October 23 of last year.

Paul Chandler, 60, told ABC Australia's Philip Williams that he and his wife were beaten after refusing to be separated.

According to a Huffington Post article from November 2009, Rachel Chandler, 56, reported that she and her husband were told they would not be fed and would also be denied water.

In the same article, Paul Chandler expressed that he had no doubt they would be killed within a week if the demanded ransom was not paid.

Somali pirates had originally demanded $7 million, however the family supposedly paid much less, according to ABC.

Despite the couple's release, Somali pirates still hold nearly 500 hostages since they are usually only released in exchange for multimillion dollar ransoms, according to MSNBC.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has described the couple's release as "tremendous news."

"I unreservedly condemn the actions of those that held the Chandlers for so long," he said. "Kidnapping is never justified."

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