U.S. Navy ship fires warning shots at approaching Iranian vessel (VIDEO)
By Chris Eger
The Pentagon on Tuesday reported that a ship of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy made a persistent and unsafe approach on U.S. vessels and had to be warned away.
The Iranian vessel, an IRGC Nassar-class patrol craft, reportedly came within 150 yards of the coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC-12) while in international waters of the Persian Gulf.
As stated in the release, the Iranian ship did not respond to attempts to establish radio communications, leading to more drastic measures.
“The Thunderbolt crew then fired warning flares and sounded the internationally recognized danger signal of five short blasts on the ship’s whistle, but the Iranian vessel continued inbound,” officials said. “As the Iranian vessel proceeded toward the U.S. ship, the crew again sounded five short blasts before firing warning shots in front of the Iranian vessel.”
After the shots across the bow, the Iranian craft finally halted.
“The Iranian vessel’s actions were not in accordance with the internationally recognized… ‘rules of the road’ nor internationally recognized maritime customs, creating a risk for collision,” said a statement from the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
The Thunderbolt, a 179-foot coastal patrol craft commissioned in 1995, carries a pair of stabilized 25mm Mk38 cannons, four .50 caliber heavy and two