After almost two weeks in captivity, the freed 15 British sailors and marines seized by Iran are on a flight home to the UK. They were released when their detention came to an unexpected end, offered as a so-called gift by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“They have treated us very well with respect for all our rights,” said one of the captives.
“They have taken care of us medically and physically and given us plenty of food and water and looked after our comforts. No one has been harmed in any way, I just want to make sure that -some rumours have been going around – and just tell them that they are untrue. Everyone is in good health and in good spirits now that we have been freed.”
Another captive said: “Happy, just relieved, thankful to go home. The treatment here has been great but it will be nice to get back, get home and see my family.”
Another had this message: “To the Iranian people, I can understand why you were insulted by our apparent intrusion into your waters. I would like to say that no harm was meant to the Iranian people or its territories whatsoever. I hope that this experience will help to build the relationship between our countries.”
It is understood top level diplomatic negotiations late on Tuesday night helped to defuse the tense stand-off.