U.S. ship fires at what authorities describe as a “small, white pleasure craft” after repeatedly telling its occupants that the vessel was too close for comfort, according to CNN. After issuing multiple warnings to those aboard the fishing boat, the military supply boat fired several shots in an attempt to disable the target. In the process, at least one person was killed, while others sustained injuries as a result. Officials in the United States have expressed their condolences on the matter. An investigation is reportedly underway.
“In accordance with Navy force protection procedures, the sailors on the USNS Rappahannock used a series of nonlethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force,” the Navy explained in a statement. “The U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun.”
The Navy’s reaction to such a scenario, which took place about 22 miles from Dubai, is considered standard operating procedure. Whenever a small vessel gets too close, multiple warnings are given before the order is given to attack the offending boat. Although officials have said that the ship in-question engaged in a “series of maneuvers”, the Navy is refraining from saying anything else until a proper investigation has been completed.
The Los Angeles Times reports the United States has beefed up their presence in the Persian Gulf to keep an eye on Iran, who may attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz following any trouble regarding the country’s nuclear program. Although some have stated that Iran’s navy has been courteous of the U.S.’s presence in the area, some are concerned about Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a paramilitary group which is known to fire missiles from speedboats.