NAVCENT/CENTCOM corrects record on Iranian rescue

Release No: UNRELEASED March 6, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

An Arab Times Online article erroneously relayed events regarding a weekend maritime interaction between U.S. and Iranian vessels.

The report, dated March 6, referred to an unnamed source from Al-Shahed newspaper (Kuwait) stating that U.S. forces fired on a boat with six Iranians on board near Kuwaiti territorial waters on March 5, killing four, wounding one, and leaving one mariner unaccounted for.  This depiction is unequivocally false and totally unfounded.

The Arab Times news article inaccurately depicted the search and rescue mission conducted by the U.S. Navy on March 3-4 that rescued an Iranian mariner from the capsized Iranian cargo dhow Abu Al Fazel in the north Persian Gulf. The sole surviving crewmember was treated for shock and hypothermia. A civilian translator relayed that at approximately 11 p.m. on March 2, the dhow sank in bad weather with six mariners aboard. The survivor confirmed that four were deceased and one was missing.

The U.S. Navy recovered the remains of three deceased Iranian mariners in and around the lifeboat and searched for the two missing crew members with other U.S. Navy and Coast Guard forces. The survivor and the remains were transferred to the Iranian Coast Guard.

The United States has confirmed with the Kuwaiti Coast Guard that there is no reporting of any maritime engagements or mariners in distress resembling the Arab Times report, and their operations remain normal and routine.  For more information about the March 3-4 search and rescue, visit the following link:  http://www.centcom.mil/press-releases/u-s-assets-conduct-search-and-rescue-for-ranian-mariners.