Former hostage left bemused by UK group's piracy mix up

LONDON - Arrrrgh! That was embarrassing.

A man held hostage by Somali pirates says he was bemused when he encountered a crowd of eye patch-wearing, plastic sword-wielding women on the lecture circuit earlier this month.

Colin Darch, 75, said Thursday that his host, a southwest England chapter of the education-focused Women's Institute, seemed to have thought he was going to speak about historical `shiver me timbers' pirates.  Instead, he spoke about his 47-day ordeal at the hands of brutal Somali pirates.

Stephanie George, of the 21-member Parkham WI in Devon, said: “We didn’t know much about him but the notes said he was Captain Darch and he was talking about piracy."

Darch, a retired sailor who has written a book and given lectures about his 2008 kidnapping, says his audience was sheepish over the mix up.

"Naturally everyone was aghast when we realized our mistake," she said.  “There he was delivering this harrowing story about how he was held hostage and feared for his life, and we were all sitting there dressed as Captain Hook."

"I think they were worried I might be a bit upset that they were trivializing it, but I thought it was funny," he said. 

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