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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 March 2007, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Anger over sailors' trial threat
Captured navy man
Nathan Summers said he had been well treated by the Iranians
Friends of a sailor from Cornwall say they are angered at news the 15 service personnel captured by Iran eight days ago may face trial.

Nathan Summers, from Hayle, is one of 15 sailors from HMS Cornwall. He was seen apologising on television for his crew "trespassing" in Iranian waters.

The landlord of the town's Cornubia Inn Chris Penfold said: "We thought they must be joking."

Yellow ribbons cover the pub as a show of support for Nathan and the sailors.

There is a lot of anger about what is happening to Nathan, we just want him back in Hayle
Chris Penfold

Mr Summers was one of eight sailors and seven marines who were seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards as they returned from searching a vessel in the northern Gulf.

He worked at the Cornubia Inn as head barman for 18 months and Mr Penfold said the ribbons adorning the pub symbolised Trelawny's Army of Cornwall.

"The boys there were just doing as they were told, they were told to go somewhere and right or wrong it is not their fault," he said.

"There is a lot of anger about what is happening to Nathan, we just want him back in Hayle."

Yellow ribbon at pub
The yellow ribbons symbolise Trelawny's Army of Cornwall

Meanwhile church leaders in Plymouth have written an open letter to Iran asking for the captives' release.

The letter is signed by the Right Reverend Christopher Budd, Roman Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend John Ford, Church of England Bishop of Plymouth and the Archdeacon of Plymouth, Tony Wilds.

It says releasing the troops would be a "positive" and "welcome" gesture.

'Coping well'

Speaking on Friday Mr Summers' brother, Nick, said seeing him on screen was reassuring that he was well.

Nick Summers, who is also in the navy, said his brother was a calm and "strong person", and he would "cope with this situation really well".

He added: "Knowing that there's other people with him, they'll help each other."

Nick Summers said there had been a lot of support for the family from the Navy.

He said: "We're just hoping this situation gets resolved really soon and he's back home."

Iran says two boats strayed into Iranian territorial waters. The Royal Navy says satellite data proved they did not.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
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SEE ALSO
Home support for Cornish sailor
30 Mar 07 |  Cornwall

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