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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007, 21:47 GMT 22:47 UK
Scots marine among Iran captives
Muirkirk
Danny Masterton comes from Muirkirk in Ayrshire
A Scot is among the 15 Royal Navy personnel being held in Iran after they were captured in the Gulf last week, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

The marine has been named locally and in press reports as Danny Masterton, 26, from Muirkirk, Ayrshire.

An MOD statement released on behalf of the family said it was a "distressing" time but thanked relatives, friends and colleagues for their support.

The UK denies claims that the sailors and marines were in Iranian waters.

Iran has offered to let UK officials visit the captured Royal Navy personnel, who were seized after boarding a vessel and returning to their boats.

UK VERSION OF EVENTS
UK Government says merchant vessel boarded by crew from HMS Cornwall was 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territorial waters
HMS Cornwall was south-east of merchant ship, inside Iraqi waters
Iranian Government initially told UK that merchant vessel was at a point still within Iraqi waters
After UK pointed this out, Iran provided alternative position, within Iranian waters

However, Iran's foreign minister warned that the stand-off would only be resolved if the UK admitted they were in Iranian waters.

UK defence officials said on Wednesday that satellite data proved they were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters when they were seized.

The Ministry of Defence said it was aware of press reports naming Mr Masterton as the Scottish marine among those captured, but would not confirm his identity.

In a statement, his family said: "Whilst we understand the media interest in the ongoing incident involving our son, this remains a very distressing time for us and our family, and all the other families involved.

"Our thoughts are also with them, and all the marines and navy personnel caught up in this situation.

"We are grateful for the support shown to us by our family, friends and colleagues, and very much appreciate it. Now all we ask is that our privacy be respected."

Boys' Brigade

Danny was understood to be well-liked in the local community. He played football and was a keen member of the Boys' Brigade from a young age.

Jim Currie, of Muirkirk Boys' Brigade, told BBC Scotland: "The best thing Danny did was to go into the marines. It gave him something to look forward to in life.

"Unfortunately, he didn't expect this type of thing to happen."

Local councillor Jimmy Kelly added: "They [the Mastertons] are a well-respected family in the village and I'm quite sure that there is not one person that's not grieving for them at the moment.

"I just hope these people see a bit of sanity and what they are doing to mums and dads and release them."


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