US Navy patrol ship fires warning shots at Iranian boats in Persian Gulf

The US Navy fired warning shots at three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) in the Persian Gulf on 26 April 2021 after they came into close proximity to US naval vessels.

The IRGCN armed speed boats rapidly approached US Navy patrol coastal ship USS Firebolt (PC 10) and US Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Baranoff (WPB 1318) to “an unnecessarily close range with unknown intent”, including a closest point of approach (CPA) of 68 yards to both US ships, the US Navy said.

The navy added that its crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close range maneuvers.  

The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the US vessels.

us navy
Photo: US Navy

“Throughout the interaction, U.S. forces proactively communicated with the IRGCN vessels and executed pre-planned responses to reduce the risk of miscalculation, avoid a collision, and to de-escalate the situation,” according to the US Navy.

“The IRGCN’s actions increased the risk of miscalculation and/or collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) “rules of the road” or internationally recognized maritime customs.”