By Philippa Jenkins
A RETIRED sea captain, who was held hostage by Somali pirates five years ago, has written a book about his experiences from the notes he made while he was being held captive.
Captain Colin Darch, who is now 75, lives in Appledore and has completed his first book entitled Capture By Somali Pirates & Other Events At Sea 1954-2010.
The retired captain still gives numerous talks about his time as a hostage in the Indian Ocean in 2008 and has now taken the next step of compiling a book.
Although the book covers his whole career, which started in 1954, a large proportion of it is given over to his capture which lasted a total of 47 days.
At the time Captain Darch was in charge of a 35-metre Danish tug called Svitzer Korsakov along with an Irish chief engineer and four Russian crew members.
He said he definitely feared for his life at times and at one point was struck on the back of his head by the pirates for not making the ship sail fast enough.
Eventually, six weeks later a ransom was agreed and the crew were freed.
Following that Captain Darch was then in charge of the MS Oldenburg before retiring a couple of years ago.
He said: “While we were being held the pirates didn’t object to us making notes, which myself and the chief engineer needed to do as part of managing the ship.
“We needed to make notes of the distances travelled and other things.
“I had an A4 pad with me all the time. In total the notes made up 47 pages once they were typed.
“It has just been in the last couple of months I have compiled the book with my grandson helping me as I decided to self-publish it.
“I received the first copy on Tuesday last week, it felt quite strange holding it for the first time. I think my family are quite amused.”
Captain Darch has already organised for some copies of his book to be available in Walter Henry’s Bookshop in Bideford and in the shop on Lundy Island. Copies can also be obtained directly from him.
To order a copy, contact Captain Darch on cjndarch@btin ternet.com