What The Hell Happened?

It’s  Friday and time for our weekly shoot-the-shit. This week we saw Iran nab 2 U.S. Navy patrol craft and hold 10 of our sailors. Fortunately, all hands were safely returned; we should rejoice that moment but what the hell happen? The DoD identified a navigational problem as the cause for the incident, which quite frankly blows us away.

We spent a good part of our evening pouring over nautical charts of the Persian Gulf and here’s what we can tell you.

  1. Farsi Island, is Iranian territory and sits about 115 nautical miles east of Kuwait.
  2. Iran recognizes a territorial waters limit of 12 nautical miles. That limit applies to its outer islands in the Persian Gulf. So, if you come within 12 nautical miles around Farsi Island you are in Iranian Territorial Waters.
  3. That leaves a 100+ nautical mile passage available to the west of Farsi Island, consisting of a combination of friendly nation territorial waters and international waters, these boats could have used to transit from Bahrain to Kuwait ( approximately  330 nautical miles).
  4. The SOC-R boats, including the command boats have a draft of 2 feet. The shallowest spot we could find, were they to simply follow the Saudi and Kuwaiti coastline, was 4 meters (13 feet), so there was plenty of water below the keel.
  5. So, how the heck did they end up in Iranian territorial waters?

nga_chart_62032

The figure is a nautical chart marked up to illustrate the points we were trying to make above. So what the hell do you think actually happened?

Have a great weekend, be safe and get a little range time in with your buds and family!

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