Over the weekend, a fishing boat made a “deliberate approach” toward the USNS Rappahannock off the coast of Dubai’s Jebel Ali port. After the fishing vessel was warned to turn aside numerous times, all to no avail, the security team aboard the Rappahannock cut loose with a .50 cal machine gun and ended the threat.
Aboard the fishing boat, three were wounded one was killed.
Although first thoughts were that the men on the fishing boat were acting on behalf of Iran, that scenario has since been discarded. But as the Washington Times reported, this incident took place not far from Iran’s “maritime boundaries.” Thus, with the heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran at present, the Rappahannock’s crew had no option but to consider the boat a threat once those on it refused to change course. The personnel aboard the Rappahannock thought they might be watching an attempted USS Cole-type bombing all over again.
Either way, a clear message has been sent to those who would sail directly toward a U.S. Navy ship and refuse to halt or turn aside: things will not end well for those who fail to change course.