Sister tells of relief after hostages’ ‘20 months of hell’

2012-06-23 00:00

“HELLO. I’m fine. Debbie is fine. We’re well cared for. We’ll see you soon.”

These words brought delight to Nora Wright, sister of Bruno Pelizzari (53), who was released on Thursday with his partner, Debbie Calitz (50), after 20 months as hostages of Somali pirates.

Wright said she received the call at 1.30 am yesterday.

“I just screamed when I heard his voice. I woke my husband,” she laughed.

She told Weekend Witness there was finally relief after going through almost two years of “absolute hell”.

She said the couple are with her 82-year-old mother in Italy. She is expecting the three of them in South Africa next week.

From what she knows, Wright said her brother and Calitz were kept in a locked dark room, were not fed nutritious food and were at gunpoint all the time.

“My brother was 51 years old when they took him, but he now looks like he is 70.”

As far as she knows no ransom was paid. “I think it was rescue and not a ransom.”

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