U.S. Navy patrol craft fires warning shots at Iranian boat in northern Gulf

U.S. Navy patrol craft fires warning shots at Iranian boat in northern Gulf
Cyclone class PC: 25mm autocannon at forward gun mount. Not used -- this time. File: USS Typhoon (PC-5) (Image: USN/NAVCENT)

[Ed. – Another interesting incident, one of several this year.  It’s noteworthy that Thunderbolt let the Iranian boat get within 150 yards before firing warning shots.  (Flares had been fired before that.)  In the flurry of close encounters last summer, Thunderbolt’s sister ship, USS Squall, fired warning shots when an Iranian boat came within 200 yards of USS Tempest.  150 yards is pretty close.   But the patrol craft kept the Iranian boat at least a nautical mile from the cruiser, USS Vella Gulf.]

A Cyclone-class patrol craft warded off an Iranian patrol boat that was approaching a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser on Tuesday in the Persian Gulf, a Navy official told USNI News.

USS Thunderbolt (PC-12) fired “multiple warning shots” after an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Nassar-class patrol boat came within 150 yards of the patrol craft and one nautical mile of nearby cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72). The incident occurred at about 10:20 A.M. local time, or about 3:20 A.M. EST …

“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,” according to a statement from U.S. 5th Fleet provided to USNI News on Tuesday afternoon.

Thunderbolt 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. As the Iranian vessel proceeded toward the U.S. ship, Thunderbolt again sounded five short blasts prior to firing warning shots in front of the Iranian vessel. After the warning shots were fired, the Iranian vessel halted its unsafe approach…

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