USS Thunderbolt Fires Shots Near Iranian Patrol Boat As Warning

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Iranian Ship Gets Too Close To Americans

Iranian Ship | Photo Credit International Business Times
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When an Iranian patrol boat got too close to a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser in the Persian Gulf, the USS Thunderbolt (PC-12) fired “multiple warning shots” when the Iranian ship came within 100 yards.

The Thunderbolt was working with two Coast Guard cutters as well as a U.S. Army logistics vessel to screen a guided-missile cruiser, known as the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72). The exercise was U.S.-only so the Iranian ship needed to be warned to halt.

An official statement read, “The Iranian vessel made a close approach to coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC-12), getting within 150 yards. The Iranian vessel did not respond to repeated attempts to establish radio communications as it approached.”

Iranian Missile Boats Harass Ships

Iraq | Photo Credit OperationWorld

USNI News writes:

“Iraq and Kuwait navy assets were operating nearby but were not involved in the encounter. It’s unclear how close the incident came to two Iraqi offshore oil terminals, Khor Al Amaya and Al Başrah, a U.S. official told USNI News.”

“The incident follows a late-night encounter in June in which an Iranian Houdong-class guided-missile boat came within 800 yards of a formation of amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67) and dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE-11).”

“The Iranian missile boat harassed the formation with a searchlight and a laser. In March, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol boat stopped short in front of the surveillance ship USNS Invincible (T-AGM-24).”

Incident Deemed Unsafe, Unprofessional

USS Thunderbolt | Photo Credit WikiMedia

ABC News writes:

“The incident, which occurred around 3 p.m. local time Tuesday, was deemed “an unsafe and unprofessional interaction.” The USS Thunderbolt, a Navy patrol craft, was conducting a coalition exercise in the international waters when the Iranian vessel approached, according to the Navy. The Navy characterized the Iranian boat’s actions as not following internationally recognized “rules of the road … creating a risk for collision.”

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