British tourists robbed by armed pirates on Tanzania boat race holiday

Three Brits 'taken hostage' by knife-wielding pirates during 500km boat race

Updated: 
British tourists robbed by armed pirates on Tanzania boat race holiday

Three British adventurers have told of their terror after they were robbed at knifepoint by pirates while sailing off the coast of Tanzania.

Chris Shimmin, 29, Taz Ibrahim, 25, and Anthony Gullan, 25, from the Isle of Man, were taking part in the Ngalawa Cup racing event near Zanzibar when they were taken hostage by a gang of seven men.


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The race was a 500km event up the coast of Tanzania in wooden fishing boats for charity. The trio's boat got damaged in bad weather and they were forced to wait on the small island of Sinda near Dar es Salaam while a local fisherman went off to find them new parts, reports the Mirror.

It was here that a gang of fisherman wielding knives, machetes and even dynamite captured them.

Speaking to The Sun, Chris said the group were dragged off into the woods behind their camp, adding: "They tied us all up to each other with our hands behind our backs and took all our clothes, bank cards, electronics, iPhones, cameras, the works.

"We think they were trying to speak to us in Swahili and when we couldn't understand them they were getting irate with us, swinging the machetes around from shoulder to the ground."

The gang was ran off when they were spooked by a tourist boat arriving on the island, and the boys managed to free themselves after about an hour of being tied up.

They called the race organisers and were taken back to Kipepeo Beach Resort hotel on the mainland, where they called the police.


Chris shared a picture of the boys on their boat on Facebook.



One friend commented: "Before it all went terribly wrong", while another said: "Where is your selfie with the pirates?"

Following the incident, the group decided not to continue on with the race, changed their flights and headed home instead.

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