Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Detained UK yacht crew - reaction

Five British yachtsmen have been detained by the Iranian navy while sailing from Bahrain to Dubai.

Here is some of the reaction to their situation.

DAVID YOUNG, FATHER OF OLIVER

Oliver Young
Oliver Young comes from Plymouth

"The journalist that is with them has got a local mobile which they were allowed to use on Monday and all of us were able to have a quick conversation - each of the families.

"It was only a brief conversation but they did confirm they're being well looked after, being well fed. We believe they are ashore on an island and are quite bored now, wanting to see things resolved themselves obviously."

Earlier he told the Plymouth Herald: "He's travelled a fair bit. He's got quite a bit of experience under his belt. They'll be coping with it fine out there. We understand they are being well looked after.

"We're confident this will be resolved very quickly. We're all concerned and the sooner they are released the better. It is dragging along longer than we thought it would do.

"It's just a worry that there are diplomatic stresses at the moment. They are under international pressure. We just hope they're not used as a bargaining chip."

SUSAN YOUNG, MOTHER OF OLIVER

"He will be absolutely fine. He is a very strong person, he will be coping with this fine. The team get on really well, they are a really nice group of lads and I am not worried about their morale or anything like that.

"As a mother I do feel worried but who wouldn't be? We are just hopeful that it will all come to an end very soon."

"Sailing is a complete passion for him and this will never put him off, he will be fine."

CHARLES PORTER, FATHER OF LUKE

Luke Porter

"We are holding things together as a family at the moment. I haven't spoken to him since yesterday. He was as good as can be expected.

"He is a very strong character, very resilient. He's a professional sailor, very used to dealing with adversity.

"He's as good as we can expect. We are very concerned."

FOREIGN SECRETARY, DAVID MILIBAND

"These are five civilians - they're yachtsmen. They were going about their sport and it seems they may have strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters.

"We look forward to the Iranian government dealing with this promptly and clearly. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Teheran have said that they'll be making a statement later today.

"There's certainly no confrontation or argument. As far as we are aware, these people are being well-treated, which is right and what we would expect from a country like Iran."

Later, he added: "This is a human story of five young yachtsmen," he said. "It's got nothing to do with politics. It's got nothing to do with (Iran's) nuclear enrichment programme.

"It's a consular case, which is being treated as a consular case by the UK, and I'm sure will be treated as a consular case by the Iranian authorities."

FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO IRAN, SIR RICHARD DALTON

"I think that the smart way to help them is to keep cool, I don't think it's helpful at the moment to connect the matter to Iran playing some sort of game, for example, to do with its nuclear negotiations.

"I think it takes time for Iran's own investigations to be completed and the British government needs to give the Iranians some space to complete that.

"If it is a case of illegal entry, then a judge may be involved and while sympathising hugely with the guys and also with their families, I think a bit of patience is called for."

KEITH MUCH, DUBAI OFFSHORE SAILING CLUB

"In all our sailing instructions before any race we do a skippers' briefing and the skippers are briefed not to stray into and to stay away from, Iranian waters. So the local sailors and the local knowledge here of the regattas we have is do not go anywhere near Iranian waters just so as not to cause any problems for themselves or the country itself."

BEN WALLACE MP, BRITISH-IRANIAN ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP CHAIRMAN

"A normal nation would stop a yacht, check it out, maybe take it back to shore and get rid of them. But this is five, six days into the incident. That is much more worrying, that is more deliberate.

"This is more than just saying 'Get out of our backyard', this is odd behaviour, but is in line with Iranian behaviour. When (Iran) wants to make a point it takes hostages."



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