The US Navy has claimed that on Sunday, a merchant ship was “harassed” by the Revolutionary Guard of Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. According to ship-tracking data from MarineTraffic.com, the ship which found itself in trouble with Iran was managed by a Greek firm.
Vessels from the US Navy and British Navy were reportedly dispatched to the scene of the incident, the US Navy reported on Monday. Images captured by a US Navy aircraft were provided alongside the report.
The Strait of Hormuz is one of the most vital shipping lanes in the world, with about 20% of the world’s passing through this narrow passage in the Persian Gulf.
According to a statement from the US Navy, on Sunday afternoon, three high-speed Guard ships carrying armed soldiers approached the merchant ship at a short distance.
The Navy provided black-and-white pictures allegedly taken by a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft flying above, displaying three small vessels in close proximity to the commercial ship.
In response to the incident, the USS McFaul, a guided-missile destroyer from the U.S. Navy, and the HMS Lancaster, a frigate from the Royal Navy, took action. The HMS Lancaster deployed a helicopter as part of their response.
“The situation de-escalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene,” commented the US Navy in a statement. “The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.”
Greek merchant ship “harassed” by Iran
Although the US Navy did not identify that merchant ship that was reportedly “harassed” by Iran as being managed by a Greek firm, the media came to this conclusion based on various online maritime tracking tools.
The Associated Press analyzed ship-tracking data from MarineTraffic.com, which revealed that the Venture, a bulk carrier registered under the Marshall Islands flag, exhibited irregular changes in its course while passing through the strait during the incident.
The vessel’s location corresponded with the details provided by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military entity responsible for monitoring regional traffic. Additionally, the appearance of the ship aligned with the images released by the Navy.
According to online maritime databases, the ship recorded in the incident involving Iran belongs to Trust Bulkers, a Greek shipping company based in Athens.
The incident was later brought up by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency. The news channel quoted Guard Rear Adm. Abbas Gholamshahi as saying that Iran was merely responding to a distress signal sent out by the merchant vessel.