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As for taking them under tow, water jets don't tow other boats well. Unlike a normal prop, it's not a matter of just throwing a rope across and dragging them out.
I've seen boats end up aground because they broke down, and the crew thought it was a simple fix that would only take a couple minutes. Then got so engrossed in the repairs they failed to notice they were drifting into a sand bar.
"The sailors departed Farsi Island... aboard the two Riverine Command Boats (RCB) that they had been operating when they lost contact with the US Navy," the Pentagon said.
"The sailors were later transferred ashore by US Navy aircraft, while other sailors took charge of the RCBs and continued transiting toward Bahrain, the boats' original destination."
One developed a mechanical fault leading them to drift into Iranian territorial waters around Farsi Island.
When the US lost contact with the boats, ships attached to the USS Harry S Truman aircraft carrier strike group began searching the area, along with aircraft flying off the Truman.
originally posted by: crazyewok
. So it was all a non issue then.
Seems both the USA and Iran acted professionally and handled it all well and within the rules.
originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
I'm sorry, I do not accept this as an innocent mistake. Look at a map; Farsi Island is in the middle of the Gulf, the boats were said to be going from Kuwait to Bahrain. There is no reason these boats should have taken a course which lead them by Farsi Island...unless they intentionally wanted to do this. The Gulf is nearly 100 miles wide at this point!
Okay, now let's look at a mechanical failure. Even if the wind was blowing 50mph (which it wasn't) it would take hours for a boat to drift into territorial waters...unless they were intentionally close to those territorial waters to begin with. Secondly, if the intention was to probe territorial waters under the ruse of a broken boat, fine, but this would be a serious mission. A serious mission like this wouldn't lack multiple layers of redundancy in knowing their exact geographical position.
Conversely, if a US Naval craft without several levels of redundancy was "innocently" piloted fully 30+ miles off course, then broke down and drifted into the territorial waters of a known adversary, this would be incompetence of the highest order...at many levels.
Some stories suggest radio contact was lost and aircraft from the Truman were dispatched to search for the boats. Ummm...I've owned boats for 40 years, and every single boat I've ever been on the radio worked just fine when the engine was off (and so did all my navigation gear). AND, I never left shore with just one radio, yet the United States Navy does this??? I think not. Not to mention the fact there were two boats, not one, so the radios on BOTH boats suddenly stopped working?? Impossible!
Bottom line; if these sailors were placed in harms way like pawns in some larger chess game then heads should roll. If these sailors were so incompetent as to stray that far off course and into enemy waters on their own...then heads should roll. This easily could have devolved into a major international incident. If we want to probe territorial waters then do it with a fishing boat (and the CIA), not a flag carrying US Naval vessel. Likewise, if we're going to be anywhere near territorial waters of an adversary...
- Don't send boats which have so little redundancy they can't recover from a mechanical failure.
- Don't send boats without multiple layers of redundancy for both communications and situational/locational awareness.
- Don't do stupid stuff!
Somebody's head needs to roll for this!