Tags: UK | Iran | sailors | Dubai

Freed UK Yachtsmen Admit Straying Off Course

Wednesday, 02 Dec 2009 11:03 PM

The five British yachtsmen taken captive by Iran arrived safely in Dubai last night after being freed from the island where they were held.

They had been blindfolded by the soldiers who boarded their vessel and eventually locked in a mess room, they said. They had been well treated.

Oliver Smith, Oliver Young, Sam Usher, Luke Porter and David Bloomer were detained by the Iranian authorities after their vessel Kingdom of Bahrain drifted into Iranian waters as they sailed from Bahrain to Dubai.

The men were told yesterday morning that they could leave. Mr Smith said: “There was a knock on the door. We were thinking they were a little late bringing breakfast. They opened the door and said, ‘You’re free to go’.”

After being towed into international waters, Kingdom of Bahrain was escorted to Dubai by a yacht from a local sailing club.

The men were transferred to a speedboat flying the flags of the United Arab Emirates, which docked at the International Marine Club in Dubai. The crew stepped ashore in new white polo shirts to the backdrop of the floodlit Atlantis hotel, to be met by Guy Warrington, the British Consul-General in Dubai.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said: “I welcome the fact that this has been dealt with in a professional and straightforward way by the Iranian authorities.”

Last night, the men acknowledged that the yacht, which had a damaged propeller, had strayed into Iranian waters. “We were in their waters but it wasn’t marked on the charts that we had,” Mr Bloomer, the oldest member of the crew, admitted. “We were trying to avoid the oilrigs in the area.”

To read full London Times story — Go Here Now.

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The five British yachtsmen taken captive by Iran arrived safely in Dubai last night after being freed from the island where they were held.
UK,Iran,sailors,Dubai
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2009-03-02
Wednesday, 02 Dec 2009 11:03 PM
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