Thursday, 3 December 2009
The five sailors released from Iranian custody. Supplied image.
by Sharon Allison
Saeed Harib, Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club, welcomed the five sailors who were released today from Iranian custody. On hearing that the sailors were coming to Dubai, Saeed Harib dispatched a boat from DIMC to pick the sailors up and escort them to an orderly arrival in the DIMC Marina.
‘Media attention had risen dramatically during the day and there was no solid information. But when we found out where they were we did our best to protect them inside DIMC which has the set up and support necessary,’ said Harib. ‘When they arrived we allowed a short photo opportunity and then set up a security barricade to allow them to go to the spa to take a shower and relax a bit before a short press conference.’ He added.
Olly Smith the team captain explained to the media that the team had strayed in to Iranian waters as there was no wind and they had broken their propeller. They were treated well although they were blindfolded a couple of times and locked in a room, they were however, treated well and allowed outside and had lots to eat. They even joked that they had gained weight. They were given a chess set and some darts to play with and after the first couple of days the guards left the door of the room open so that they could get some fresh air.
They stressed that the ordeal had not put them off sailing in the Gulf and they will be coming back to sail in the Maktoum Sailing Trophy at DIMC in February next year. ‘Bahrain sail will carry on and grow, we are all committed to the project and developing sailing in the region,’ said Olly. They left the press conference and headed for the world famous Barasti Bar to relax.
The five are:
Luke Porter, 21, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset,
Oliver Smith, 31, from Southampton,
Oliver Young, 21, from Saltash, Cornwall,
Sam Usher, 26, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, and
Bahrain-based David Bloomer