Royal Navy could have rescued these hostages, but weren’t permitted to.

Paul and Rachel Chandler were sailing around the world when their boat was hijacked by Somalian pirates. Pirates are demanding a $7 million ransom for their release.

Sorry, but I’d like to know what they were doing sailing in such a notoriously dangerous part of the world?

An investigation by The Mail on Sunday demolishes accounts by the Ministry of Defence and the head of the Navy which suggest that a naval vessel at the scene had no rescue force available. In fact, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Wave Knight was within seconds of unleashing a crack team of 20 lethally armed Royal Marines.

Wave Knight’s crew have been so angered by the official portrayal of events that one witness has given us a career-risking statement. His evidence raises troubling questions about Government and military policy on piracy. And many people will want to know why an elite commando troop, mustered in black combat fatigues only yards from the kidnappers, was not permitted to put its air and seaborne assault training into action.

The astonishing stand-off occurred on day six of the hostage crisis as the pirates attempted to transfer Paul Chandler, 59, and his wife, Rachel, 55, to their mother ship. READ MORE: UK DAILY MAIL