HE'S on his way home!
Huddersfield hostage Chris Coe's family are still celebrating his dramatic release by Iran.
Leading Seaman Coe and his 14 Royal Navy and Marine colleagues were dramatically freed yesterday after a 13-day ordeal.
Dad Steve, 57, speaking from his home in Derwent Drive, Dalton, beamed: "I'm over the moon.
"It's fantastic news, the best news we've had for a long time.
"The last couple of weeks have been hell.
"We'll be having a massive party."
Leading Seaman Coe, 31, who has his own home in Moldgreen, was captured on Friday, March 23.
The former Rawthorpe High School student, who has been in the Royal Navy since 1993, had been on HMS Cornwall off Iraq since February.
The diplomatic tug-of-war between the UK and Iran has been global headline news since the crew's capture by the radical Revolutionary Guards.
Steve, who is a winder at Thomas Broadbents engineers, on Queen Street South, said: "We knew they would be released eventually.
"It was just a question of when.
"When we heard that the president was giving a speech we crowded round the TV.
"There was just a sense of sheer relief."
He said the family had been reassured by the pictures of Chris on TV.
"He looked well and was always smiling, so we knew he was OK," he said.
"They weren't shown wearing masks or being forced to do anything.
"They all looked quite relaxed.
"We just want him home now."
Steve said his son would have coped well with the situation as he was the oldest member of the group.
Mum Christine, 56, and sister Gemma, 30, were still in shock yesterday and did not want to comment.
But Gemma's husband, Matthew Lake, 34, said the family had pulled together throughout the crisis.
He said: "Both Gemma and Christine had their birthdays while he was away, so that was especially hard.
"We heard the news that 15 had been captured and we knew straight away that one of them would be Chris.
"But we knew he would be all right.
"All his sailor friends speak very highly of him and that's why he's a leading seaman.
"He can handle that sort of situation.
"It's one of the hardest jobs in the Navy. He would have given support to the others and told them: `Don't be heroes'. And they haven't tried to do anything silly.
"He would have just dealt with the situation in his own professional way."
Matthew added: "It has been hard for the family, but we have all pulled together. We've got each other through it."
Steve said he did not think the experience would put Chris off his job. "I don't think it will bother him. He will carry on and complete his full service," he said.
And he praised the Defence Ministry for its handling of the situation. "They have been fantastic and kept in touch all the way through," he said.