U.S. Warships Avoid Collision With Iranians In International Waters

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According to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, late Wednesday 11 Iranian ships bombarded and harassed multiple U.S. warships in international waters  of the Arabian Gulf and the entire encounter was captured in photos and video.

U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopters along with USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332) and USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) were conducting joint operations when the encounter occurred.

U.S. ships were forced to take action when the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards of USCGC Maui’s bow and about 50 yards from USS Lewis B. Puller.
Because of the officers’ quick actions they narrowly avoided collision with the Iranian boats.

Radio warnings were issued by the U.S. crews as well as five blasts from the ship’s horns and sounded acoustic noise makers. All were ignored by Iranian crew members.

After one long hour, Iranian crews finally responded to the warnings and turned away from the U.S. warships.

U.S. Navel Forces Central Command had this to say in a statement, “The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) ‘rules of the road’ or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area.”

Several forces including the U.S. Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Army have been conducting joint operations in the Arabian Gulf for several weeks so their presence there was not uncommon.

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