British authorities reported today that Iran has freed the five sailors, Oliver Smith, Sam Usher, Luke Porter, Oliver Young, and David Bloomer, who were detained last week when their racing yacht allegedly strayed into Iranian waters. The sailors were en route to Dubai from Bahrain on their 60-foot yacht, Kingdom of Bahrain, when it was taken in by the Iranian navy.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that this was “a purely consular case” and added:
“I think that this is just a straightforward matter. It is not a political matter. I do not believe there is any wider significance… it shows that diplomacy can work.”
The Revolutionary Guard said in its statement:
“After carrying out an investigation and interrogation of the five British sailors, it became clear that their illegal entry was a mistake.”
While Iranian authorities had warned earlier that the sailors would face “serious action” if they were found to have “evil intent,” Miliband said that the authorities dealt with the incident in a “professional way” and that, to his knowledge, the sailors were treated well.Back to top