Foreign Office confirms the five detained crew have now been freed

The news of the release of the five crew from Sail Bahrain came with a report from Iranian Radio. A few hours later the UK Foreign Office confirmed the team’s release.

Shortly before the FCO confirmation the BBC had run several stories on the alleged release of the crew.


The Foreign Office says it is “actively investigating” reports that five UK yachtsmen held by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard for a week have been freed.

They are said to have drifted into Iranian waters mistakenly while sailing from Bahrain to Dubai for a race.

Iranian radio said they had been freed at 0730 local time (0400 GMT). It is thought they were held on Siri island.

A statement by the Revolutionary Guard said interrogations had revealed their “illegal entry” had been “a mistake”.

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, who is believed to be in his 60s, were held on 25 November.

Full BBC story

BBC Radio 4 Today programme also carried a news report at 0713 this morning.

Listen to BBC R4 Today Programme

The crew had been enroute to the start of the Dubai-Muscat race when it is believed they lost their propeller and drifted into Iranian waters while waiting for a tow.

See Previous YW Story

So just how safe is the area? With Alinghi’s campaign to conduct the 33rd America’s Cup in the area questions have been raised as to whether the location presents a security risk. Offshore Challenges is also planning a race series in the region.

In a news report by CNN, Tracey Edwards, and Offshore Challenges’ CEO Mark Turner discuss the issues of an area that has hit the news headlines over the past few days.

CNN Report – What Now For Sailing In the Gulf?