United States Navy Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC-12) fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel on July 25. The US coastal patrol ship was participating in a coalition exercise in the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon said.
The Department of Defense of United States said warning shots were fired after an Iranian naval vessel conducted what US Central Command (Centcom) officials called “an unsafe and unprofessional interaction” in international waters.
The Pentagon said the Iranian vessel approached within 150 yards of the coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt and did not respond to repeated attempts to establish radio communications as it approached, citing Centcom officials.
“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,” Pentagon said according to Centcom.
“The Iranian vessel halted its approach after the warning shots were fired, officials said, noting that the Iranian vessel’s actions were not in accordance with internationally recognized “rules of the road,” nor with internationally recognized maritime customs, thus creating a risk for collision,” Pentagon said.