JULY 16, 2012 — An embarked security team aboard a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler fired on a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship near Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates today.
In accordance with Navy force protection procedures, said a statement from Fifth Fleet, the sailors on the USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force.
The statement says that the U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun.
The incident is under investigation.
UAE official news agency WAM reported Dr. Tariq Ahmed Al Hidan Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs as saying that the vessel was a fishing boat and that one Indian national was killed and that three were injured and in serious condition.
Al Jazeera reports the Navy as saying that the shooting took place at around 2 pm local time (10:00 GMT) some 16 km from the coast