Surviving sailors arrive Paris - 'We were escaping consumerism.'

Lemacons being guarded - photo by Suomen Kuvalehti
.. .
Three French sailors and the three-year-old that survived the rescue operation by French commandos, including the widow Chloe Lemacon of the killed sailor Florent Lemacon have arrived in Paris. They flew from Djibouti on the Red Sea to a military airbase outside Paris, and were welcomed home by the Defence Minister Herve Morin.

Two pirates were also killed in the operation and three more were captured.

Mr Morin said on Saturday that officials 'cannot rule out' that Mr Lemacon was killed by French fire, something that most keen observers could have guessed easily. Somali pirates have no history of harming their hostages, in fact treating them very well as the source of their livlihood. It is much more likely that a French bullet, fired at a distance, would have been what ended Florent Lemacon's life so tragically.

Tragic, not only because of the way that he died, but also that it was his desire to escape from the consumer led society, which also lures the pirates that captured him, to a better more essential life. He and Chloe defied advice not to sail to Kenya, asserting that 'we cannot allow pirates to destroy our dream.'

Speaking to French newspaper Ouest France, Mr Lemacon had said they wanted to change their priorities in life, escaping consumerism.

'We don't want our child to receive the sort of education that the government is concocting for us. We have got rid of the television and everything that seemed superfluous to concentrate on what is essential,' he said.

However, Defence Minister Herve Morin said the raid was 'the best possible decision' and that an investigation would determine what happened on board the Tanit.

'France has shown its determination not to give in to blackmail, [to] prosecute the criminal acts and liberate the hostages every time that a ship under a French flag is captured,' he said.

In the meantime, in a statement that does not bode well for French and American cruising sailors, Somali pirates are threatening revenge against the French and, quoting the recent killing of more pirates during the freeing of the USA flagged Alabama, all citizens of the USA.

'The French and the Americans will regret starting this killing. We do not kill, but take only ransom. We shall do something to anyone we see as French or American from now,' Hussein, a pirate, told Reuters by satellite phone.
http://www.sail-world.com/55770