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United States and United Kingdom Royal Navy forces responded to a distress call from a merchant vessel transiting the Strait of Hormuz, June 4, as Iranian fast-attack boats harassed the commercial ship.
The internationally flagged merchant vessel made a radio distress call at 4:56 p.m. local time while transiting the narrow strait. The civilian crew reported three fast-attack craft with armed personnel approached and followed the merchant vessel at close distance. The fast-attacked craft were assessed to be from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.
U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) and UK Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster (F 229) both received the distress call, and Lancaster launched a helicopter to provide surveillance. U.S. 5th Fleet also directed a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to monitor the scene.
The situation deescalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene. The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.
U.S. 5th Fleet remains vigilant and is bolstering defense around the key strait with partners to enhance regional maritime security and stability.
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