April 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy on Wednesday said 11 naval vessels from Iran conducted "dangerous and harassing approaches" to U.S. ships in the North Arabian Gulf.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command shared video of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy crossing in front of and behind the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USGC Wrangell and USGC Maui.
"The IRGCN vessels repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds, including multiple crossings of the Puller with a 50-yard closest point of approach and within 10 yards of Maui's bow," the U.S. Navy said in a statement.
The Navy said the incident occurred while the U.S. vessels were conducting joint operations with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in international waters.
In response to the actions, the U.S. crews issued multiple warnings including five short blasts of the ships' horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices but the Iranian ships did not respond.
About an hour later the Iranian ships responded to bridge-to-bridge radio inquiries made by the U.S. ships and maneuvered away from the U.S. vessels.
"The IRGCN's dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 'rules of the road' or internationally recognized maritime customs and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the are," the Navy said.