Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Statement from Sail Bahrain Chairman, Andrew Pindar OBE, on Sailors Held in Iran

by Andrew Pindar OBE

Last Wednesday, Sail Bahrain's racing yacht set out from Bahrain to join the start of the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Race. On the way, we received a call from the crew stating that they had been stopped by an Iranian navy vessel. We understood that the crew believed they were in UAE waters, but due to a fault with the propeller, they may have inadvertently drifted into Iranian waters.

As the Foreign Office continue to liaise with the Iranian authorities, our thoughts are very much focused on the safe return of the crew and in supporting the families who await their return. The Team Pindar crew members on board are a close-knit group, who are all qualified sailors and have extensive experience on board racing yachts. Olly Smith, who was skippering the crew during the delivery has been involved with the team for many years and has over 100,000 sailing miles under his belt.

Through the limited contact we have had with the crew, we are pleased to confirm that they appear to be in good spirits and have confirmed that they are being well looked after.

Sail Bahrain’s Team Director, Nick Crabtree is on the ground in Dubai and is set to handle any logistics involved with their release. In the meantime, I will be staying in the UK and remain in close contact with the Foreign Office, as they seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Finally, on behalf of the team, I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for the support we have received from well wishers throughout the sailing fraternity, the world over.

Team Pindar
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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