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Press Release | July 30, 2021

Drone strike in North Arabian Sea kills two: US Navy rendering assistance

U.S. FIFTH Fleet

Arabian Sea  –  

For Immediate Release

ARABIAN SEA (July 30, 2021) – U. S. naval forces responded to an emergency distress call following an attack on a merchant vessel in the international waters of the Arabian Sea, Jul. 30.

Upon arrival, U.S. forces determined through clear visual evidence that an attack had occurred.

The Liberian-flagged merchant vessel, Mercer Street, is now underway on its own power and there is no ongoing threat to the vessel’s personnel. The vessel is currently being escorted by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, with embarked Carrier Strike Group 5, and the Guided Missile Destroyer USS Mitscher.

U.S. Navy personnel are on the Mercer Street, assisting the vessel’s crew.  The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters is coordinating with vessel ownership regarding the type of assistance requested.

U.S. Navy explosives experts are aboard to ensure there is no additional danger to the crew, and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack. Initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style attack. There were no U.S. citizens onboard the vessel at the time of the attack. Regretfully, two members of the ship’s crew were killed in the attack, and governments of the nations of those two crewmembers are aware of the tragedy.

The U.S. 5th Fleet regularly works with coalition forces, regional partners and the shipping industry to maintain the regional awareness necessary to facilitate aid to mariners in distress.