For Navy crew, shooting at Indian fishermen was last resort
DoD photo of the small fishing boat fired on by a Navy supply ship Monday.
July 18th, 2012
06:40 AM ET

For Navy crew, shooting at Indian fishermen was last resort

By Larry Shaughnessy

When Navy security personnel onboard USNS Rappahannock opened fire on a small boat near Dubai on Monday, killing one Indian fisherman and injuring three others, it was the final step in an effort to protect the ship without resorting to force.

The incident is not without controversy. One of the Indian fishermen onboard the small boat told Reuters they did not get any warnings before they were fired on.

"We were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at," the injured fisherman said. The U.S. military is investigating the incident.

"We certainly regret the loss of life in this incident…. There were, in fact, warning measures that were taken based on what we know now. ," said Pentagon spokesman George Little.

The incident lasted just three minutes, according to a Central Command document obtained by CNN's Security Clearance. The document illustrates how the incident escalated in a quick succession of steps.

In Navy parlance, the USNS Rappahannock is an "underway replenishment oiler,” meaning it can supply warships while they are sailing at sea.

Notice it's USNS not USS, which means it is owned by the military, but it's not a warship. It has a civilian commander or "master" and a mostly civilian crew. The only Navy sailors onboard are the security detail protecting it.

The Navy's security strategy has changed drastically since October 2000 when a small boat packed with explosives pulled up beside the USS Cole and blew up, killing 17 American Sailors and nearly sinking the destroyer.

"It's constantly on your mind," said retired Vice Adm. Pete Daly, who was in charge of a destroyer squadron when the Cole was attacked. "I would say that the Navy, as a result of the Cole, significantly reevaluated what the Navy calls the waterborne threat."

Daly said the Navy was caught off guard by the Cole attack.

"When a ship was in a harbor, we thought we were doing a very good job of the landward threat. You had gates and guards and barbed wire. But from the seaward side, not as much as we should have."

As for Monday's incident, the Department of Defense said it appears the Rappahannock's crew acted properly.

"Based on what we know now, a series of warning measures were issued to the oncoming vessel. Those warnings were not heeded. And the vessel was fired upon," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Tuesday.

The small boat first got the attention of the Rappahannock when it was about five nautical miles away, according to the military document. When it was about 1,200 yards from the Navy ship's starboard side (point #2 on diagram) it turned toward the Rappahannock and the ship responded by beginning the series of warning measures.

"The Navy ship will never start at direct lethal fire. There's a whole rules of engagement that occurs that has different levels," Daly said.

Daly spelled out how those warning measures work, starting with nonlethal means such as radio calls using common civilian channels, loudspeaker announcements, and flares and lights to get attention.

In the case of the Rappahannock incident, within a minute of the boat approaching, the security team "initiated first level of defensive, nonlethal warning procedures," according to the military document. The vessel was closing in and was within 900 yards but "ignored the warning and continued toward" the Navy ship.

Daly said the next level is to fire warning shots, shooting into the water ahead of the encroaching boat but without putting the boat or passengers in danger. The Rappahannock security team initiated a "next level of defensive, nonlethal procedures" one minute later, but those were ignored by the approaching boat that was just 150 yards away, according to the Central Command document.

At this point, according to Daly, the crew will fire. This occurred when the boat was just 100 yards from the Rappahannock (point #5 on the diagram), with a .50-caliber machine gun. The intent of the direct fire is not to harm people, it is to stop the approaching boat, Daly said.

But the Navy acknowledges when it opens fire on another vessel, there is a risk people could get hurt or killed. Daly said that's why direct fire is the action of last resort.

"This is a very deliberate and responsible graduated response," Daly said.

Because this was a civilian crew other than the security team, it would not have been the master of the Rappahannock who ordered the security team to open fire on the approaching boat.

In this case, the senior Naval officer leading the security team would have given the order to fire, explained Daly.

After Rappahannock opened fire, the boat "slowed for the first time and turned to port, passing astern of the Rappahannock. The Navy crew then re-initiated nonlethal procedures with the boat, which was within 90 yards of the naval vessel. The boat then stopped and the Rappahannock "goes to full speed to separate from the vessel.

Unfortunately, this kind of incident may happen again as the Navy sends more ships into the crowded Persian Gulf that is rife with tension.

When a ship's underway, coming in or out of harbors or in narrow passages" you risk having close encounters, Daly said.

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Filed under: Navy
soundoff (2,417 Responses)
  1. Flag Writer

    I served with VADM Daly when I was a young buck and he was a LT/LCDR and the guy knows his stuff. The BS about them not getting any warning is just that... BS. Let this be a lesson for anyone that tries to come near our ships.
    YNCS(AW) USN Ret (Flag Writer)

    July 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • PEACE-NOT-WAR

      PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT YOU WORKED FOR THE SAME ORGANISATION WHO ALSO DID AND LOT OF COVER-UP THROUGHOUT HISTORY UNTIL TODAY ABOUT THEIR MISTAKES. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN WE WENT TO WAR CLAIMING EVIDENCE OF WMD IN IRAQ?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • Sailor101

        Do you have ablosute concrete proof that we did not find anything? Do ya? Maybe you just don have the clearance or need-to-know if we did. Have you ever thought about that?

        July 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  2. Anti-idiot

    This is such a "Feel Good" story!

    July 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  3. S. Geoffrey Marcus

    Are these the Indians terrorists that american taxpayers are spending so much money on, giving aid, technology, food, security, helping them prop up against Pakistan, protecting them from China? I say let us patch up with Pakistan and kick these indians to the curb. They have led us on the wrong path in Afghanistan and are now stabbing us in the back.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Dana R

      drone these indian b@stards. how dare they even look at us.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • buster

      when Pakistan was created it was created for this reason, until they busted teh twin towers instead, if you are so stupid dont comment on issues other then finding peaceful solutions, secondly the captain is a muslim who has not spoken a thing about his fishing boat, these indians are workers who have gone to look for work like they do here in USA and Canada or Britain. If you are having problems ask cnn to give a complete story first. CNN has a capacity to cut this drama short by giving a little more detail.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • CG

      @S. Geoffrey Marcus & @Dana R: Are you guys out of your minds? Do you even know where India and Pakistan are located? Or are you few of those Americans for whom USA is their whole world and anything outside USA is a third world country? Do some reading around and know some more geographical or political facts before commenting lamely on such articles. When did you ever heard of an Indian Terrorist? I seriously pity on ppl like you two. Morons.

      July 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • Vipul

      Wow Marcus! Name one incident of Indian terrorism please! Throughout Indian history we've had 3 countries bashing our borders and we have never attacked them. Where are you getting this hate? Unless you're secretly one of India's neighbors. The same one that has dedicated it's life to destroying India completely and nothing else.

      July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  4. Flag Writer

    I served with VADM Daly when I was a young buck and was a LT/LCDR and the guy knows his stuff. The BS about them not getting any warning is just that... BS. Let this be a lesson for anyone that tries to come near our ships.
    Proud,
    YNC(AW) USN Ret (Flag Writer)

    July 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  5. been there

    This is NOT the first time! What do we expect the USN to do, wait until they run into the side and blow up another ship? USN has to act in defense, not wait until they are toast!

    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1987/URGENT-Shipping-Sources-Say-One-Indian-Killed-by-U-S-Warship-Gunfire/id-f752d572b8934c9bc6c003e65e8355b2

    July 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  6. The Gambler

    Mumbai and Chennai are the illegal cricket gambling capitals of the world. Cash Flows from these operations are being siphoned off by the Indian government to finance terrorists globally, particularly in the region. This off the book financing is also being used, in the case of sales of illegal booze, to finance terrorism. This way the indians are able to dodge the american financial radar.The american congressional politicians have been alerted to the double game Indians are playing.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  7. Phil Slaton

    Simple solution, do not approach U.S. ships ... what about that statement is so hard to understand?

    July 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Roto

      Simple. Actually, don't approach anyone's military ships if you're a civilian just motoring around. What we just saw was a Darwinian phenomenon.

      July 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  8. Jesus' Santiago

    India poses a clear and present danger to the regional security of the world. ...to USA...NATO...Pakistan and Afghanistan people and armed forces. Hindu cult extremism is on the rise and fanning all terrorism worldwide. Indians are the bankers to and financing terrorism and supporting Talibans and Al Qaeda and harboring them in India. These terrorists are being entertained in the Indian parliament building in New Delhi where they are residing and then smuggled over to Pakistan in Indian Army helicopters. Shame on these Indians. Like the NAZI's they need to be stopped forcefully and immediately. If it takes bombing lets bomb India, if it takes Drones...lets drone New Delhi.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Rj

      Are you confused? Taliban started in Pakistan and India hates the Taliban and Al Qaeda. You another troll?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • CG

      @Jesus' Santiago: As I said to other two morons who have commented on this article, you too are one those for whom USA is like the whole world and anything out side of USA is alien. Get your facts right buddy. Do a little bit of reading. Indians are threat to US, Pak, Afghanistan ??? Are you serious? Homeless kids in India who never went to school would have better geographical & political knowledge then you. Another Moron.

      July 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Vipul

      First let's drone your parent's house for giving birth to a moron like you. Your house next. and then your entire clan. Care to tell us which rock you live under?

      July 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  9. Mikey K

    India is playing a double game with Americans in Iran and other places in the region. We are also aware of the other dirty games India is playing in the region...financing terrorists who are killing US/NATO/Pakistani troops ....undermining democracies, paying off some factions of talibans protection money so they won't do another Mumbai attack. India may pretend to drape itself in an American flag but it will never fool the world that the biggest threat to American interests in Asia and Middle East is India and their obsolete policies.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  10. dd

    How can fisherman in this area be so stupid? It is time to eliminate stupid people. Now, Obama is running ....

    July 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Vinny "The Veal" Vasparino

      Stupid fishermen lie with the fish. Kapiche?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • Vinny "The Veal" Vasparino

        Indians are not the brightest bulbs around.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • CG

        @Vinny "The Veal" Vasparino: Here is a fact for you, the "not so brightest bulbs" are taking away all the work & jobs from you morons while you are filing for your unemployment benefits which is nothing but begging for some pocket money from the government...Use your effort in brightening your bulb, may be you will get something good out of it...

        July 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  11. Faruk Waheed Aljafari

    There is only one Allah. He is great. There is no military that owns the seas, Allah does. The military cant shoot Allahs people because they feel thirst for blood. This is outrage. ALLAH AKBAR! No wrong was done by these noble fisherman. The terrorist america ship kill them with no warning. America has no right to use fear and killing to get their way. ALLAH AKBAR

    July 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • JW

      The terrorist america ship kill them with no warning. America has no right to use fear and killing to get their way. ALLAH AKBAR

      That is by far the stupidist statement I have ever heard a rag head say, just remember 9/11 when you so called noble people attacked and killed a bunch of civilians by flying planes in to a building......just living proof yet again that you truely can not fix stupid........BTW ALLAH can kiss my A$$ and if you wanna meet him I am sure any red blooded AMERICAN would help you out with that, I know I sure would

      July 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • get out

        That terrorist boat should not have got within 1000 meters before being blown out of the water... mess with the best, die like the rest you ignorant sand fleas

        July 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Anti-idiot

      Your allah is on her knees in front of me, right next to the little boy loving prophet mohammed

      July 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • Gomez

        We have invested a lot of resources in India over the past two decades and given a lot of aid to prop it up. There has been no investment on this return. Instead India has squandered all the resources in building nuclear weapons while poverty remains rampant in the country. We need to revisit our relationship with India. American taxpayers will not tolerate this anymore. We need to take care of our own populace going forward. We cannot be exporting jobs to India or giving it financial or technical handouts.It has become too big to govern or create any value for western countries or even for its own population. India needs to be carved up into smaller independent states to be a viable economically and geo politically.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Cheng Ming Chin

        In many Hindu temples there are sculptures depicting men having s@x not only with women but also cows. What is the meaning of this? Is not the cow sacred? If it is, then it should be worshipped not s@xually assaulted!

        July 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Doug

      Why don't you and Ally go rent a boat and gi after a Navy ship? And then you can F-ck your virgins!

      July 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • get out

      Take your towel head dumb a$$ back to the sand dunes

      July 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • icurheinie

      There are many religions and many "Gods", yours is just one of them. It's about tolerance and fully accepting the beliefs of those who believe something differently, otherwise the religious beliefs in question are a farce.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Are you off your meds

      well allah better tell the dead one they screwed up, because they got lit up getting to close to a navy ship. get a clue CJ

      July 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  12. Runt Brew

    As R.W. say's YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID ooo aaahh for NAVY...

    July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  13. Casby

    We need to nip this in the bud. If Indians think they will repeat what Al Qaeda did they are sadly mistaken. We will take you Indians out immediately. We now have zero tolerance for terrorism that effects our interests.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  14. JW

    As a Soldier that was in Iraq and fought in the Battle of Fallujah the last thing any member of the service wants to do is pull the trigger (I unfortunately have had to do it) but when your life is on the line you have 2 options fire or go home in a box with a toe tag on your foot. I am behind these anchor clankers all the way.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  15. Faruk Waheed Aljafari

    This is a shame.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • bob aussie

      Why is it a shame? Even and idiot would know not to point his boat in the direction of a naval ship (US, Russian, British, Iranian, or otherwise.) There's more to the "Indian" fishing vessel than what's being said. Anti-americans using this as a soap box are predictable idiots that don't know what a well constructed argument or debate on an issue is. Faruk, your choice. If you don't want to come across as being an idiot, then say something constructive.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  16. Kramer

    Americans need to be aware that those waters are infested with Indians. They do smuggling of people, drugs, gold, merchanize, cigarettes, booze, clothing etc. The monies are being used to finance Al Qaeda, talibans and hindu extremist groups by RAW an arm of Indian Government.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • OverseasIndian

      Kramer? A Paki hiding behind a Jewish pseudonym? This must be a new low – congrats!

      July 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  17. Rajesh Kapadia

    What do these umericans theenk? We hindus not terrorists. We will come after you to take revenge.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • JW

      How about I send you my address and I wait for you to come to my house, I am sure you would never bother since you are all cowards and fight like little girls in the school yard. I was in Iraq for 13 1/2 months until one of your cowardly cousins shot me from behind, unfortunately for him he was a bad shot and I was a much better shot, hope he is having fun with those virgins in the afterlife......if you wanna re unite with your cousin again please come to upstate NY and I will arrange the meeting, and by the way it is spelled AMERICA rag head

      July 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • okiejoe

      And how is the crew of the naval ship to know that the boat isn't loaded with explosives and a terrorist crew? They can only go by the actions of the boat and its crew.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  18. theseconddavid

    Go away from the boat with guns, not towards it. This seems like common sense.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  19. Jamal0390

    What was a small Indian Fishing boat without a radio, equiped with three outboards doing so far from India?
    If they could own a boat with that equipment I find it hard to believe they could not afford a radio and if they were in that area where there is a large potential for incoming and outgoing cargo ships and such why in the world would you not have a radio. Even if you use common sence in a war torn area that it is who in their right mind would speed up towards a ship with Guns on it? This is clearly the fault of ignorance on the smaller boat.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  20. DontPretend

    I have one correction for the author of this article. Firing upon a ship is not the last measure before resorting to using force...it is the FIRST measure involved in using force.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  21. McAllister

    Let me be very blunt. These were Indian hindu terrorists. While we were busy fighting Al Qaeda, these groups were sprouting up in India. US Navy gave plenty warnings to the hindu terrorists. They were lucky that all of them were not taken out. Don't mess with US Navy or for that matter any US Armed Forces. Understood?

    July 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • OverseasIndian

      Ha! Ha! I understand the bravery now that Libya is very stable, Iraq is burning, Afganistan in shambles – sure the bravest of the brave has done a great job!

      July 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Are you a Pakistani? There s no such thing as "Hindu Terrorist" Lol. I m a christian and hindus are the most polite people i have met.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Vipul

      How exactly do you know that these were Indian "hindu" terrorists? You do know that Al-Quaeda and Taliban are muslim organizations based off Pakistan and Afghanistan right?
      In any case there are more muslims in India than in Pakistan and not one of them would support terrorism either. its the country, not the religion mister Paki "McAllister"

      July 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  22. Locker

    Seriously.. what is wrong with you people? Murder? Are you serious? Do you have any concept of how the military works not to mention the actual definition of murder?

    Don't want to get shot? Don't run up on military personnel performing their duty. That goes for boats, cars approaching checkpoints, etc.

    Murder is what was done to the soldiers on the Cole.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • PEACE-NOT-WAR

      THESE PEOPLE WHO TOOK AN INNOCENT LIFE ARE HIDING BEHIND THEIR UNIFORM AND WILL ALSO GET AWAY WITH IT. THIS HAS BEEN AROUND FOR CENTURIES IN ALL NATIONS. NOBODY QUESTIONS THE MILITARY, AT LEAST NOT FOR A SINGLE FISHERMAN'S LIFE WHICH HAPPENED AT SEA WITHOUT MUCH EVIDENCE.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • Shermski

        caps lock bro

        July 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  23. PEACE-NOT-WAR

    THE POINT IS NOT WHETHER IF IT IS OK TO FIRE IF THEY IGNORE WARNING MEASURES/PROCEDURES OR WHAT THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ARE BUT IF THEY FOLLOWED ALL OF THAT AS CLAIMED. ONLY A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION CAN ANSWER THAT.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Anti-idiot

      Yo idiot, I wish you were on that boat. And stop yelling, remove your caps.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  24. JMO

    Manuevers 2, 3, and 4 above in the image will absolutely every time be interpreted as a hostile manuever. Every single time. The fisherman said in his testimony that they began to speed up in an attempt to go around. DON'T GO AROUND, DON'T APPROACH the vicinity AT ALL, STOP....WAIT and STAY ALIVE...PERIOD!!! You people over there have to learn to stop doing things so wrecklessly without thinking. The entire world is on extremely high alert. ALL weapons everywhere are HOT!!!! Wake UP!!!!! and get that through your heads.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  25. AngryPaki

    As a Pakistani, American must apologize to India – this is high seas murder.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Duane

      Right after Pakis apologize for harboring Osama Bin Ladin in a safe house in Paki; after aplogizing for supplying and arming the Taliban, after, after, after....

      July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • RickN

      Hey Paki, your country is a mess. Better to get your own house in order before lashing out at others. Your government and your secret service are not to be trusted. We know what side they're on and it isn't the U.S.'s.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • Not a Scholar

      Yes, we Americans are very sorry. We are sorry that your vessel was shot at. We are sorry that there was loss of life. We are also sorry that warnings were not heeded. We are sorry that you ignored several forms of communications. We are sorry that we had to use ammunitions on this vessel to prevent it from nearing a USNS. And we will be sorry again the next time we have to do the same thing because the sorry crew on this boat somehow thought they were above logic. Sorry I had to write this to tell you how sorry your request is for us to say we are sorry for protecting our vessel.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  26. Faruk Waheed Aljafari

    Outrage is the only feeling I have. The American have much to answer for. They can start by sending a nice fruit basket and ten goats to the family of the deceased. ALLAH AKBAR! ALLAH AKBAR! ALLAHLULULULULUL!

    July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  27. alysandir

    Confirmation bias at its most virulent. If you already believe that the US is a warmonger, then this incident confirms in your mind that this was another example of the US acting like imperialists and throwing their military weight around unnecessarily. Conversely, if you already believe that the US has a right to defend itself from relentless terrorist attack, then this incident confirms in your mind that the US acted properly and the civilian craft was lucky more crew wasn't killed.

    There's no discussion here; just a collection of "I'm saying it more emphatically, so that makes me more right than you." Give it a rest, folks.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • jqent

      You've nailed it precisely.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • jpip

      @alysandir: when you put it like that, you take all the fun out of the comment board. Come on, dude.
      Having said that, I'd like to join my fellow commentors by emphatically stating: derp-derp derpa-derppity derp derp, derpa-derpa, derpa derpa, DERP!!!
      ps kudos on the "confirmation bias" observation. Would you mind coming to where I work? I can't seem to get anyone here to understand the concept relative to root cause analysis.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  28. ObamabamaMama

    I heard Preso is working on an apology to set right this terrible US Navy error. The US Navy has made a serious error by antagonizing a nation of a billion ..... Sorry, India.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Veronica

      Obama better aplogise to Indians ..they almost feeding us americans ..obama begged Indians last year for jobs
      we cant mess with chinese and Indians they are next power hubs

      July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Ron

      Only thing the Navy should appologize for is being such a lousy shot.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  29. Kansan

    Any 'fisherman' of any persuasion knows not to approach an obviously foreign vessel, especially in that region. Personally, I support the oiler's actions. I believe the survivors on the smaller craft were intentionally approaching with no good in mind. Not the job of the US to make themselves vulnerable to attack.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • WH

      YES, BUT IT MEANS ALL SHIPS AND BOATS NOW HAVE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES FROM THE US WAR MACHINE,, NOT THE OTHER WAY ABOUT.
      THIS IS A CRAZY SITUATION

      July 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • okiejoe

        To "defend" themselves, all they have to do is not make any hostile act, like running on a high speed collision course.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Not a Scholar

        Nothing crazy about this situation. All ships should be prepared to defend themselves. Not just navy warships. How many vessels have been boarded by pirates in and around Africa in the past years? Any small vessel approaching a larger vessel should be announced and invited or be prepared to shot on. Especially if you IGNORE all other forms of communications.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  30. tonyh110

    Just because its a quasi military ship doesn't make it any less significant – heck ALL commercial and military shipping alike needs to 'protect' itself. In fact in a military operation these USNS ships are as critical and vital, for the logistic backup they perform, as the fighting ships. See how in-effective an Aegis class destroyer becomes if it runs out of critical supplies.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  31. David M

    "..meaning it can supply warships while they are sailing at sea". Well, where else would they be sailing, in the middle of Kansas??

    July 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • correction

      Simply means while at sea rather than in port smart_ass.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • hasher_Iva

      As opposed to refueling at anchorage. Sometimes you find a safe anchorage and refuel and resupply while anchored. I don't think the US Navy has done this since Vietnam or WWII. All replenishments are done while underway today.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • tavn

      The true meaning is that we are the only Navy that refuels and replenishes while the ship is moving.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Mister Mystery

        err not quite, most countries with a decent navy can replenish while underway

        July 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  32. Ryan7777

    Hmmm.....

    The fishing boat closes on the aft of the RAP and then turns 90 deg. to head straight at the RAPs starboard side... And I know that diagram is likely correct because it's probably been taken off of the RAPs radar log. And I also know there was no way the indian crew did not hear the acoustic hailing device short of them ALL being stone deaf. And if they couldn't see the .50 cal splashing in front of ALL of them, these guys were also ALL blind! In other words, if this wasn't a boatload of deaf, DUMB and blind fishermen, they were sorta asking to be chewed to shreds by the RAPs security crew. SO while it sucks for the dead fisherman and his family, his skipper is the one that is to blame. I'm sure that guy would still be fishing today had they stopped or turned to their starboard.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      While I agree that they took the correct action, there are no RADAR logs on a ship of this type. Also, in port, the radar is normally turned off. And inside 1,000 yards, radar is called eyeballs.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • john

        Paul .... just stop .

        July 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  33. powerrade

    its funny americans cant even touch somalians with guns ... yea but brave enough to kill un armed poor fisherman.
    cowards to max

    July 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Locker

      You must have some special X-ray vision if you can tell that these were "innocent fisherman" and that their boat wasn't packed with enough explosives to blow the hoover dam.

      It's called being careful and following procedure. A coward is someone who criticizes the people who served without having done so himself.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • Ron

        A coward is someone who criticizes the people who served without having done so himself. I Like This. LIKE LIKE LIKE.

        July 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • jake

      Please let the air out of your head.

      Loaded supply tanker warned those idiots. Maybe they should have given the large ship a signal that they where nonthreating. Threats to U.S. Naval ship means bad thing are going to happen.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Arthur

      You must have missed thedozens of articles about the US taking down Somali pirates, including the one where the pirates were shot through the head with sniper rifles rescuing the hostages. Made world news. Or did you mean BESDIES that?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • goodasyours

      surely you are not very intelligent to eve consider a responce you just gave - i suggest you do what they did and see the results

      July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • goodasyours

      are you not american - sounds like you might be iranian or something like that - wounder about the occupants of the boat - indian what?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • AmLowLife

      Well, if the Somalians were to head directly at a US Navy boat like the fishermen appeared to do they would be shot at, too. The difference is, the Somalians are trying to get away from the Navy.

      Does a biased person like yourself understand the not-so-subtle difference?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • roger

      You must have selective memory. You seem to have have forgotten about the 6 somalis pirates who took hostages and our seal team took everyone of them out with head shots. I guess somalis pirates are also really brave when they board unarmed ships to take hostages huh?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  34. Navyvet8192

    I'm curious as to why they didn\'t just shoot the outboard motor, disabling the craft then call for coastal authorities to tow them in rather than shooting the occupants. I understand the concerns around what happened to the USS Cole, but this vessel had not come along side the ship, or displayed any weapons to the security force did they? It appears they were trying to pass on their stern, taking the wake of the ship head on rather than from the side which can roll over a smaller vessel.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Postal

      Because when you fire a 50 cal machine gun at a moving boat from a moving boat, it ain't exactly precision shooting.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Rj

      Seriously, do you know how hard it is to hit the outboard board on the rear of the vessel while it is moving at speed and your ship is moving up and down with the wave, especially with a .50cal machine gun???

      This isn't Hollywood and ships like this don't have Seal Team 6 snipers and even then the snipers wouldn't have been able to set up that quickly within a 3 minute window.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • bibek888

      I would think it would be hard to fire at the small boat's motor. From the diagrams in the article, it looks like the motor would be on the back of the boat and out of view from the guns on the ship unless they had a good angle from the front of the boat. Either way, I agree that there should have been some way of avoiding the death of a fisherman in this whole process.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • okiejoe

        We don't even know what part of the boat the fatality was in. He could have been in the bow setting the fuses.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • yesroh

      It's likely they could not simply shoot out the motor–at 100 yards, the boat could've been alongside the ship within a few second. It doesn't say they didn't shoot at the motor either–and a 50 caliber machinegun sprays a lot of bullets. It says in the article that the intent was not to harm people, but to stop the boat. Where or not they displayed any weapons is irrelevant–the boat that attacked the Cole didn't display weapons either. Most suicide attackers don't.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Ummmm

      I'm just curious as to how you shoot an outboard motor on the BACK of a boat that is coming straight at you with a direct fire weapon? Even they used an indirect fire weapon, let's say an M203, you tell me how many gunners are going to hit a moving boat while on a moving boat with 400mm ammo?!

      July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Doug

      You wonder why they didn't shoot the outboard engines?!?

      They are firing from a moving ship at a speeding vessel heading towards them that may or may not be a threat, but has ingnored warnings. Other boat is closing fast. AND you expect them to fire at the other boat engines which would be at the back of the boat heading towards them. Or are you implying the other boat was approaching in reverse?

      You are typing before thinking. If you are typing before thinking while reading this story calmly sitting at your computer I can only imagine that you would have either blown the other ship out of the water as soon as you saw it approaching or jump from the Navy ship. And you have the audacity to criticize others?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • hasher_Iva

      Unless it's a .50 caliber sniper rifle and the platform and target are fixed, and they are NOT on a pitching rolling deck, a .50 caliber machine gun is an area weapon. It's supposed to spray .50 caliber bullets over a defined area, it's called dispersion. The M2 has a dispersion of 1.5 mr. That equates to 1.5m for every 1000m. I'll do the math for you, at 100m that's .15m or almost 6 inches. Trying to shoot out the motor isn't a possibility.

      The boat made a threatning move when it turned towards the ship and did not respond to warnings.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • NavyCurrent2100

      Seriously? In 3 minutes? It was approaching direct – how do you hit the outboard motor IN THE BACK, from 100 yards on a moving vessel? Not going to happen.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • momzna

      "I'm curious as to why they didn\'t just shoot the outboard motor" –
      Look at the picture of that boat. If it goes at you its engines are behind the cabin, which is pretty close to the back. I think they indeed were shooting at the engine and accidentally shot one of the fishermen. A single 0.50 caliber bullet is more than enough to kill a man. If they were shooting to kill there would be no survivors.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Not a Scholar

      If I remember correctly the vessel that approached the USS Cole did not show any intent of harm or aggression when it came along side either. You can't tell what explosives are below. This could have easily been a suicide bomb boat.

      July 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  35. Stoneman

    Hopefully this incident was recorded on video on the part of the naval tanker. We tape everything else, that would put to rest who's telling the truth, Nuff said.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  36. naroooney

    was this incident in waters that the us does not own, other boats will be at sea with the same right to be there, do we think we own the water around our boats where ever we may happen to sail?

    July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • KRISTENACIOUS

      When a hole blew out the side of the USS Cole because a small craft loaded with explosives was allowed to ram it, one of the sailors on deck asked the Capt. if he could fire warning shots – the Capt denied his request , and we all know that over a dozen sailors lost their lives due to a Capt's fears of "starting an international incident" – so , I'm glad the Navy got he chutzpah to do this. We didn't lose any sailors with this incident, did we? Protecting American Military lives is the a huge responsibility for any Commanding Officer and in this case he avoided losses. End of story.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • NavyDoc

      Yes we do as do all other Naval vessels from every other country.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  37. snowdogg

    "When Navy security personnel onboard USNS Rappahannock opened fire on a small boat near Dubai on Monday, killing one Indian fisherman and injuring three others, it was the final step in an effort to protect the ship without resorting to force."

    Shooting at them is NOT using force?

    July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  38. George

    Good jobs guys kill Indians ..pple who actually feed americans and giving us jobs ..remember obama begged em just year ago

    July 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Nubes

      get the message or get shot...pretty simple really

      July 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • powerrade

        knob?

        July 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • jayesh

      bwahaha be it hospitals or NASA,people of Indian origin have edge over all of'em.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • goodasyours

      and you knew the we indians - how - i personaly would wonder if these "indians" were muslim

      July 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • Not a Scholar

      So you think a small boat approaching is going to identify it's origin even though it did not respond to warnings? You think that the American vessel had a way to identify the nationality of the occupants? This all took place in a matter of minutes. There was not a 6 month notification and treaty going on here.

      July 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  39. B-snizzle 101

    Kitty

    July 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  40. SSampson

    If you own a boat.... you SHOULD have a Marine Radio – it should be on tuned to the local emergency channel.....

    You should know the local Marine rules.... and you DEFINATELY should never approach large ships – PERIOD – If it is painted Navy gray – just stay away regardless of nationality....

    Anyone piloting a craft in that area should KNOW there are risks – especially doing what they did....

    I am pretty sure that Navy personel are like Army personel – they do NOT take pleasure firing on people – particulariy in these situations where there are so many unknowns....

    This appears unfortunate, but if the account is correct, they had absolutely no choice...

    July 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Say it louder

      NO no no...when your a country that is gearing up for war you keep those 20 something year olds under control. They think its a big game because we havent had a ship sink in decades do to combat. But from what i have seen of old maritime videos it was not glamours. Shows some dam class and self respect when your in another countries waters. Feel like your going to be attacked you point the gun at them until they open fire. A 50cal on against a fishing boat...you dont think you could sink that in 5 secs or less?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
      • Say it quieter, with more sense

        OK, genius. The whole point is that they don't open fire, they basically use boats as suicide vehicles with explosives. So by your reasoning, we'll just let them keep on coming up to the boat as long as they don't open fire on us with guns they don't have and when they explode and kill hundreds of civilians and sailors on this boat, we can all point to your backwards logic.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • NavyDoc

        You obviously do not really know what a .50 cal is by your comment. It is not a huge weapon system for a large vessel to have in fact it is pretty small and would not sink the craft rapidly.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • goodasyours

        good logic there sherlock - we'll just let them mow us down i guess - i feel so sorry for the poor people

        July 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Tendofreak

      These are international waters. They are not owned by anyone. event he fishermen. They should have known better and now I bet they do.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  41. Mike T

    "The intent of the direct fire is not to harm people, it is to stop the approaching boat, Daly said." So, yeah, generally when you open fire on a vessel with humans in it with a .50 caliber machine gun it will stop because everyone who can drive it will be dead. That's like saying, the intent of pouring gasoline over someone's head and setting them on fire is not to kill them, rather, it is to keep them warm on a brisk winter morning.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • unknown11

      No, it is not at all like that. If someone gets killed, that is fine. The intention is to stop the boat. The boat stopped, the fire stopped.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  42. Brandon

    This incident is nothing more than a simple mistake, precautions were assessed, warnings were gave, and the men took action. Now it seems a little irrelevant to the what happened to the USS Cole, but in this case these men were protecting the ship at what ever measures it takes.

    July 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Wastrel

      Yes, a mistake by the guys in the small boat who acted like terrorists.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • ron

        And that is a good point. The surviving crew odf the small boat SAY they are only fishermen. But how do we know that? Terrorists hide amongst the civilian population in every country, that they are in. They pop out, plant a bomb, or shoot someone dead, and disappear into the crowd. Even these peoples statement that they received no warning, does not ring true. It does sound far more reasonable that the larger ship tried to warn them off.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • goodasyours

        ron - we are americans - that means we are automatically gullible - stupid "neanderthals" as one lovely huffposter said

        July 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  43. Beadlesaz

    "speeding up to try and go around them..." No wonder the Navy security team fired on them. The only appropriate action on the part of the *fishing vessel* was to turn tail and run in the opposite direction. They may or may not have been *Indian fishermen* – but it's obvious they were stupid.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • hasher_Iva

      Speeding up to go around happens every day, multiple times a day, but the moment the fishing vessel turned towards the Rappahanock everything changed.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  44. rymnd87

    Trigger happy US sailors killing innocent fisher-men, very close to the Persian Gulf. It looks like our industrial/military complex is itching for another war, now that we are out of Iraq and will be out of Af-Pak in another couple years. Perhaps these "intelligent" sailors thought there were Persian bad guys in the boat, shoot to kill, easy. Now it turns out that there were Indians and UAE arabs, whose respective countries are our allies. It takes pure "genius" to turn allies into enemies and it looks like our armed service members ought to join MENSA!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Wastrel

      They don't have to fire a warning shot at all. If they perceive another boat as a threat, they can blow it out of the water, if the captain makes that call. Even then, I wouldn't call them trigger-happy.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • susan

        There wasn't a Navy captain on this boat; but there was a Naval officer in charge of the security civilian team and he would have given the order to fire on the ship.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
      • Stephen

        Listen to yourself....If they perceive a small fishing boat as a threat and blow it out of the water, that is the definition of trigger happy. It's insane how conditioned my fellow americans are to be able to try and justify actions like this.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • rymnd87

        @Wastrel: The Navy personnel had ample time for other options that could have prevented loss of life :

        "Nicholas Davis, the CEO of Maritime Guard Group, said that it appeared that the US Navy had adequate time to launch a fast intercept vessel to stop the fishing boat before it got too close."

        Too quick to pull that trigger!! actions have consequences....and its not just us, there was a recent case of Italian Navy personnel killing Indian fisher-men. near Indian port.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • susan

      If your son or daughter was on that ship would you be so quick to possibly risk their lives?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • james

        Yep

        July 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • K

      Wait for the film. A boat coming at you beam at full speed has to be taken seriously in that part of the world. They did not riddle the boat with bullets.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • canucken

      Did you actually read the article? If what happened actually happened then there is no question the Indian boat was at fault. These guys must know not to approach a US military ship, or any military ship for that matter. As mentioned (pretty explicitly) in the article the USS Cole tragedy changed the rules.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • bill

      And it looks like you're an idiot. How was the Navy supposed to know their nationalities? And, when you believe yourself to be under threat, what difference does it make? When you get warning shots across your bow and ignore them, you deserve to get shot!

      July 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Really!

      July 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • ricardo

      Are you kidding me? Look at the diagram of the approach of this vessel to the Rappahannock. In these waters with this sort of threat level even if warning measures were not adopted, there was still justification. Harmful intent is not always indistinguishable from abject stupidity or cluelessness, and I would have a hard time faulting you or your son or daughter if they were the trigger puller in this case.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • goodasyours

      rymnd87 - i can't say what i would like totell you - but with the intelligence just oozing from your words i see that you are probably an islamist or at least a simpitheiser - you are welcome to join the small boat crews in the area

      July 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  45. pdqbach

    If they wanted to go around the Navy ship the crew of the smaller boat would have changed course. No one in their right mind would interpret heading directly for the ship and speeding up as an "attempt to go around" the Navy ship. The crew of the Rappahannock did the right thing and the so called fishermen are lucky they are alive to lie about what happened.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
  46. Noel

    Remember USS COLE.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  47. Raz

    Kind of odd for a boat to be that far from port without a radio. I mean radios are important on the ocean. Not wise to skimp on that kind of equipment.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • TJ

      How much do you think Indians earn anyway? Do you think they're even earning our minimum wage? Bahahahahahaaaa

      July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • ExaltedMan

        Have you seen the PEW Report on high income group in USA? You will be ashamed of yourself once you do !!!

        July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  48. grooveclubhouse

    I think a warning shot across the bow is pretty well understood and transcends most cultural, ethnic, and language barriers. And if you don't understand the meaning of a projectile flying across the front of your boat then you deserve to have a date with darwinian theory.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • stevenabb

      Great post... yea, something about a heavy caliber machine gun being fired in front of me... for some odd reason... gives me an uncontrolable desire to turn my boat around in the opposite direction. That is while putting some stuff in my undies along side of my newly found love of religion.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  49. Kevinkmac

    It would have been cleaner if they just blew them out of the water, and we never heard about it. TMI.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Roamer

      I – like Kevinkmac – could care less if there had been no warning. Shoot first and ask questions later. There is no need to put our servicemen and women at risk with some risky "rules of engagement." If a threat is perceived, take immediate and deadly action. The idiots in the fishing boat knew they were too close to a military vessel.

      Too, I strongly suspect the folks in the little boat were up to no good. Maybe they didn't have explosives on board, but they may have been trying to feel us out. They lost!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
      • Will S

        How much less could you care? Hard to take you seriously when you can't even get a simple idiom right.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • Nick

        Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about. I was in the Navy and served in the Persian Gulf. There were fishing boats almost on a daily basis floating past the ship... if every boat that came close was fired upon we would be at war against the entire world. On numerous occasions the boat was directed to change course and did so. Why take lives if a simple, "Move or you will be perceived as a threat" will defuse the situation?

        July 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  50. PEACE-NOT-WAR

    WHY DO WE JUST TAKE THE WORD OF USNS AND NOT FISHERMEN BEFORE THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE? EVERYONE CAN AGREE WITH THE WARNING PROCEDURES BUT WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE IF ANY WERE FOLLOWED. NO SMALL BOAT AT SEA WANTS TO APPROACH A LARGE VESSEL ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE FIRING IN TO THE WATER IN FRONT OF YOU. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THE SECURITY TEAM MIGHT HAVE JUST FREAKED OUT AND PULLED THE TRIGGER SINCE THERE ISN'T ENOUGH TIME AND NOW ARE TRYING TO COVER THEIR ASS. 3 MINUTES IS NOT ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH ALL THE THINGS THEY SAID THEY TRIED BEFORE FIRING.
    IF IT WAS AN IRANIAN OR NORTH KOREAN VESSEL THAT SHOT AT AMERICAN OR EUROPEAN SMALL BOAT, ALL THE COMMENTS HERE WOULD BE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. THINK AGAIN IF YOU EVER FELT LIKE RACE DOESN'T PLAY A ROLE. BEFORE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS AND SHOW OFF YOUR PATRIOTISM TAKING THE SIDE OF YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN, TRY THINKING THIS THROUGH FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Raz

      Would your comment be different if the boat had a bomb on it and sank the Navy ship?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • PEACE-NOT-WAR

        YES IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT BUT IT DIDN'T HAVE BOMBS AND THE SHIP WASN'T AT ANY RISK. ALL THIS CONFIRMED AT THE COST OF AN INNOCENT LIFE.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Normal Person

      Putting that in all caps just makes it more obvious how stupid you are.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • canucken

        Two THUMBS (!) up.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Name*Tttt

      Part right part wrong.

      Note they quote the captain of the small boat that they were trying to get around the navy one you'd have to get pretty close right

      July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • endub

      You think every single person on that ship would be able to keep their mouth shut if that wasn't the truth to the situation? Heck no. Sailors talk. If that wasn't the truth, the truth would have gotten out already. Moral to the story? They tell the truth the first time up as there is no way to keep an entire ship full of Sailors quiet.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
      • Hugo

        Did the sailors who captured the Enigma machines talk before they were authorized to talk? (To the best of my knowledge, they didn't.)

        July 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Beadlesaz

      Go live in India for a year or two – or Pakistan, or maybe the Sudan. Then get back to us.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • Concerned

      Why are you so sure they didn't follow protocal and were just a bunch of trigger happy seaman. Why don't you THINK before making unfounded accusations. I will give the Navy the benefit of the doubt, especially given the history of violence in the area.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • PEACE-NOT-WAR

        PLEASE READ THE POST AGAIN. I NEVER CONCLUDED THEY DIDN'T FOLLOW THE PROTOCOL INSTEAD SAID WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE INVESTIGATION TO BE OVER BEFORE ACCUSING THE FISHERMEN. ITS NOT LIKE OUR MEN IN UNIFORM NEVER LIED BEFORE OR MAKE MISTAKES.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Anti-idiot

      You truly are an idiot. If a drooling pit bull was charging you on the sidewalk, would you say "here puppy", or would you take defensive measures? Get off the computer, out of the house, and go see what the REAL world is all about.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
      • PEACE-NOT-WAR

        I BET YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO GOES OUT LOOKING FOR A REASON TO HARM OTHERS.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
      • Anti-idiot

        In reply to P-N-W, I never go out looking for trouble, and I would never harm another human being, however, I have a family and will protect them when necessary. Let me guess your type. Hippy, jobless, protest everything except to legalize pot, PETA member. Am I close? Again, get out of the house and open your eyes.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • james

        I want to know what your problem is with pit bulls why your so afraid of everything, why you feel the need to "protect" yourself and family to the extent that you do, why you condone and escalate issues beyond what they already are.
        And why you assume people are unemployed hippie liberals that haven’t gotten out of the house because they can see this is a senseless act of violence toward a albeit foolish fishing crew and vessel.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • Anti-idiot

        LOL, another idiot.....I used pit bull as an example and I'm not "afraid" of everything. Protecting my family was another example of the ship security protecting their "family". Put the bong down, get out of the house, stop hugging trees as you're high as hell, go vote for Obummer so your free benefits don't end and STFU. Looks like I struck a nerve with your dumb A$$ as well. 🙂 This crew did what it had to do so they would not end up at the bottom of the drink!

        July 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • John

      Maritime law states "stay away from military vessels" PERIOD!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • mike

        what maritime law says this?. I'm a maritime lawyer in NYC and I'm not aware of any law that syas this. Navy ships are bound by the international rules for preventing collisions just like every other vessel. there are no special rules that apply unless they are engaging in some military exercise.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • endub

        Mike, with all those typing and puctuation errors, I doubt you're the lawyer of anything at all.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
      • evalue8

        Mike, collision prevented. Happy now?

        July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • DJ

      Please give up your US citizenship and move away. I am embarrassed that any American would say something that stupid

      July 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
      • PEACE-NOT-WAR

        OH, SO SUPPORT BLINDLY WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS OR GIVE UP CITIZENSHIP? PLEASE GET SOME EDUCATION.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • bricotrout

      i imagine there will be recordings of the flares and firings and bull horn warnings. as a boater, i would think bullets going into the water ahead of you might be hard to notice if youre not looking for them. if they had music going on the boat with an engine running, might be hard to know a bull horn announcement is being directed toward you, especially if its in another language 900 yards away. flares? in the daytime, if youre not looking for them, again might be hard to see (notice the boat had a bimini type top of which the passengers were under... limited view of the sky). but you are right. the top brass already knows from those recordings whether SOP was followed. if it wasnt, they would still say it was.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
      • PEACE-NOT-WAR

        THAT'S MY POINT, WE WONT KNOW UNTIL ANYTHING IS PROVEN. ITS A DIFFERENT CASE BUT THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED WITH TURKISH JET CROSSING IN TO SYRIAN AIR SPACE. ATLEAST THAT WAS BIGGER REASON TO BE ALARMED SINCE ITS FIGHTER JET.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Matty13

      It's all on audio tape and video tape. You won't see that until after the investigation.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • RoseMcB

      And... there's the possibility that the sun will rise in the West tomorrow. You have obviously never been in the military or you would know that those gun crews are not the panicky type. You don't get that duty if you're a hanky-wringer. They know their jobs. There is discipline. There are protocols. Anyone who has ever been around a Naval vessel when they sound those warnings knows it's loud enough to raise the dead. You can hear it for MILES, literally. They will broadcast them in English and the local dialects, so there is no – zero – misunderstanding.

      I have no idea what these fisherman thought they were doing, but if someone sent a couple .50 cals over MY bow, I wouldn't be trying to "get around" them. I'd about-face and move most di di in the opposite direction. The fact that they are Indian says a lot and no offense meant, but, having spent considerable time in the Indian Ocean areas, I can tell you that Indians tend to march to the beat of a different drum altogether.

      BTW, 3 minutes, particularly in a situation like that is a very, VERY long time. Time yourself and see how much you can get done in three minutes. Also, the other poster is right. Typing in all caps is stupid.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • FC3(SW)Ret USN

      Well as a vet and trained weapons division sailor, this is a cut and dried as it gets. Weapons teams don't "freak out" they are under command of experienced leaders who would have gone to great lengths to avoid using lethal force against what was clearly a threat. I have no idea why the boat or its occupants did what they did but it is safe to say the Navy acted correctly. In the past my weapons team has taken similar measures at threats that were much further away. Again I can not speculate as to what the fishing vessel was doing, but common sense tells you that when bullets are striking the water in front of you, its a good bet you should alter your course. the loss of any man saddens me, but common sense tells you that this situation was resolved with dilligence and restraint. My condolences to the man who lost his life and my condolences to the men who were forced to take it.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • DrCole

      I currently believe the rendition given by the crew of the USNS vessel because they stand to be court marshaled if they do not proceed with proper procedure. The individuals of the fishing vessel are individuals that apparently were not paying attention, lying or telling the truth. I will form my final opinion after the investigation is complete, but at this time, I am agreeing with the testimony given by the crew of the USNS vessel.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • bill

      Pardon my crassness, but "humanity" wasn't at risk here. AMERICANS (since you like capital letters so much) and an AMERICAN ship were at risk. I say again, if you're stupid enough to ignore warning shots across your bow, you deserve to be shot.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • atteckus

      So now the Navy is supposed to have a prescient crystal ball to know in advance what every small skiff has on it and what they're intentions are? That's the whole point of this. We warned them in univerally understood fashion by shooting metal objects the size of golfballs across their bow. If that doesn't say "get away from us," in comprehensible fashion to an Indian fisherman, I don't know what else would do so. I'm a liberal, so I certainly get the desire to see us act peacably. But I'm an American first, and there are as many liberals buried at Arlington National Cemetary as those of any other political persuasion. If it comes down to brass tacks, we must defend the lives of U.S. servicemen and the property of the United States, no matter what the cost to others. Sorry, but they got what they had coming to them, whether out of evil design or sheer stupidity.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Anti-idiot

      Why don't you travel to Pakistan or Iran, walk down the street with your arms wide open and tell them you want to be their friends. Tell them you are not a violent person and you want peace not war. Then write back after you are abducted and thrown in prison for a few years. I would love to hear your thoughts on humanity after that little anti-war love fest.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Anti-idiot

      Hey peace-not-war, Why don't you travel to Pakistan or Iran, walk down the street with your arms wide open and tell them you want to be their friends. Tell them you are not a violent person and you want peace not war. Then write back after you are abducted and thrown in prison for a few years. I would love to hear your thoughts on humanity after that little anti-war love fest.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      • confused

        @anti-idiot – with a name and comment like that I assume your against or hate yourself?

        July 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Eileen

      Any sane person would take the word of the US military over the fisherman because the military knows they couldn't get away with lying, after all, they have videos, cell phones, radar, etc. to prove what happened. You think the fisherman had that? ha.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • momzna

      Man, you are a genius! You can see from your porch whether a boat in the open sea has a bomb on board. I think you should give the Navy your phone number, – next time they'll consult with you before opening fire.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  51. Paul Elkins

    This reminds me in ways of the video I just watched on CNN about a pastor who danced with a venomous snake, got bit, and died. Approaching a warship like that in open waters is just plain stupidity period. No sympathy from me.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • imarek

      "Notice it's USNS not USS, which means it is owned by the military, but it's not a warship. It has a civilian commander or "master" and a mostly civilian crew. The only Navy sailors onboard are the security detail protecting it."

      July 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • toimprovemyself

      Did you even bother reading the article?
      "Notice it's USNS not USS, which means it is owned by the military, but it's not a warship. It has a civilian commander or "master" and a mostly civilian crew."

      July 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • hmbdude

      Actually, the UAE authorities claim the boat was within a mile or so of Jebel Ali. So not "open waters".

      One of the fishermen tried telling the boat pilot to turn away, but the guy didn't react in time.

      The people in that part of the world already hate US, this kind of trigger-happy cowboy behavior isn't going to create any new friends.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • RoseMcB

      For those below, picking the fly specs out of the pepper, whether it is classified as USS or USNS, those ships have big buns on them – and rockets – and all kinds of other weaponry, so getting back to the point the poster was trying to make – one has to be a clueless moron to get anywhere near a vessel like that.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • RoseMcB

        Corrections: posters ABOVE mine and ... big GUNS, not big BUNS. LOLOLOLOL!

        July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
      • YMCA

        Have you seen some of those navy men – great big BUNS and GUNS on them.
        I would let them fire thier load all over me!
        Too bad most of them are straight

        July 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  52. Smarter than ewe

    In other news the fish were overjoyed.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Kevinkmac

      LOL

      July 18, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • TJ

      Yes... the "fish" (aka sharks) were overjoyed! Here in America, it would have been the lawyers that were overjoyed... not much difference. 🙂

      July 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  53. Bill from GA

    If we had a National Tax on petroleum equal to the amount we spend on defense of that region, idiot consumers would park there gas hog pickups and SUV's.

    Only people who NEED trucks (give them a tax credit to replace the tax paid) would drive them. Soon, we could bring our military home to defend our Country, not our lifestyle. Maybe, a much smaller military.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • nolongerarepublican

      Sure Bill, and your fantasy world the oil companies and wall street would not jack up gas and oil prices to make up the lost profits from Americans using less, and we would stop exporting US oil to China and other countries for big profits.
      LOL

      July 18, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
      • Bill from GA

        The higher the price goes, the lower the consumption.

        And, BTW, it's mainly the Commodities Brokers that jack up the price

        There is nothing wrong with leaving some oil in the ground; about half of it is used for non-transportation purposes and humans, 200 years from now, might resent the way we stupidly waste it just to support our ego with a large vehicle.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  54. PeterD

    Americans Kills Innocents all the time.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • RoseMcB

      And stupid people doing stupid things in obviously dangerous situations get themselves killed even more often....

      July 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • DJ

      so does every other country in world, what's your point?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  55. Tyler

    Wait a second, now let's go over what we know... let's review the FACTS.

    FACT, the movie "Act of Valor" sucked really hard.

    Um, that's all I got. Anyone else?

    July 18, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Kevinkmac

      They expect 180M from the Dark Knight this weekend.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Bub

      Fact: A giraffe's tongue is bluish-black.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • Army Sgt

        I have a sandwich my old lady fixed me

        July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  56. Jugger75

    Casper, most people at fault in matters say "It wasn't my fault" or "I'm innocent/not guilty".

    July 18, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • TJ

      So, what you're saying is you're NOT innocent and you ARE guilty! Got it!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  57. nolongerarepublican

    "An Indian-owned fishing trawler may have been used to deliver militants who attacked Mumbai from the sea killing 150 people, coast guard officials said on Friday."

    July 18, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  58. nolongerarepublican

    Good job Navy! They were TERRORISTS.
    They hijack Indian fishing boats all the time.
    "Mar 29, 2010 – Last seen in waters off Diu, fishing vessel was carrying a bogus name; ... 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had hijacked the Indian boat"

    July 18, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
  59. leitrim

    Its an unfortunate experience for all involved –but I did not know private contractors were manning Navy ships and of course the Navy is front and center protecting it. Is the pay commensurate for all on the ship I am wondering. It seems to me security should get paid just as well as teh civilians. Why is there such a policy in place for civilians to operate the ship, and the sailors put in harms way?

    July 18, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • nolongerarepublican

      Because companies bribe Congress and the DOD to make money off these things.
      That's why.
      If they could, all Navy ships would be manned by Halliburton for billions a year.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      You've just described some of what the Merchant Marine does. They have done much the same for decades, if not centuries. They manned most of the Convoy ships of WW2 for example. The active duty Navy personnel get normal U.S. Navy pay and benefits. I am not sure how/who pays the Merchant Marine personnel.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • TJ

      Fear not... HObama, Queen Nancy, Prince Harry, Baron Von Holder, Jester Janet, and their thugery will gut our military as much as they can get away with... and maybe even outsource our defense to China.

      Think of our military and defense in these terms: Pay now, or pay dearly later. Looks like we'll be paying very dearly down the road.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • tj

      The civilian sailors are not contractors, but federal civilian workers under the command of the Military Sealift Command.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      Civilian and Contractor mean two different things to the DoD. In a nutshell, a Civilian is usually a Civil Service employee or a civilian employee not affiliated with a contract or corporation. A Contractor is a person working for a private company that is contracted to perform a service. I think in this case you will find they mean that the civilian personnel on the ship are Merchant Marines, who have been utilized by the US government to crew non-combat vessels for many, many years.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  60. Torpedo Man

    "One of the Indian fishermen onboard the small boat told Reuters they did not get any warnings before they were fired on."

    The Navy records their actions on digital media.

    Unless the Indian fisherman have their own recordings and proof, they are nothing but a bunch of LIARS.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
  61. adam l

    That part of the world is a joke, I can manuveur my boat right past a Canadian Frigate in the St. Lawrence, cuz we are not a Joke in the west. Those guys need to get their heads out of their asses and stay away from any Military vessels. If it's in your way, then you wait. That's what you have to do in a Joke of humanity region.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
  62. George

    i dont think we should be killing people who feed us .Obama was begging for jobs from Indians just year ago

    July 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Diana R

      George: If the Navy people had known the other people were Indians, "we" would not have killed them.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Army Sgt

        Obama sucks

        July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • bill

        Diana, do you think Indians aren't capable of launching a terror attack against a US ship? It would have made no difference whatsoever had our guys known their nationality. A threat is a threat, period.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Flatsguide

        Army Sgt, why would you say such a thing? Besides being a Socialist, a Kenyan, a congressman that never voted on anything, coming up with cash for clunkers, Bailouts, failed Solar Companies for his family and friends, appointing criminals as his czars, taking family vacations which cost the taxpayers $10,000,000 in the last 3.5 years, backed Trevon Martin without waiting on any evidence, having Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as friends, Rham Emanual, and Obamacare, there is no reason to say such a thing, you should be ashamed.

        July 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  63. Jeff

    Go Navy! As a veteran Tin Can sailor, I know a little about this type of scenario. There are international rules of the road on the high seas that all captains of all vessels are expected to know and to abide by. Among those rules are rights-of-way, communications methods, and warning procedures. The Rap did everything expected of it in order to protect itself. The fishing boat was clearly out of bounds, and he should have known better. As soon as the fishing boat turned directly toward the Rap, they became an immediate inbound threat. They're lucky they didn't get blown out of the water!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
  64. 1nation

    Americans sucks c0ck ..riding around in made in china stuff
    losers even wear made in china in olympics hahaha

    July 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Drastic

      until something bad happens in your POS dirtball country and then you will be screaming to America for help

      July 18, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • nolongerarepublican

        Just an American kid playing TROLL for attention.
        Don't let it bother you.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • nolongerarepublican

        First the media told us it was a "pleasure craft"
        Now they tell us it was an Indian fishing boat and had four Indians on board.
        But..... It had six people on board, two were arabs.
        Big crew for such a a small boat, wouldn't you say?
        This thing stinks, it was a threat to our ship.
        Can you imagine the image and victory of terrorists blowing up a US fuel ship?

        July 18, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  65. Bill from GA

    And the best alternative would be to quit using so much oil so we can get ALL of our troops out of the region. Let China or Europe defend the Arabian area, while we rebuild our Country.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  66. krm1007 ©™

    we pakistanis own you americans ..try messing with us ..by the way you americans are cowards not brave like pakistanis

    July 18, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • Lukos58

      Yeah, I'll remember that the next time I'm buying beer at one of your Qwickie Marts here in the U.S.. Keep up your little dance with India, buddy. One of you will glow in the dark sooner or later.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Grim Reaper

      Please send me your GPS oordinates so we can either violate Pakistan's sovereignty by way of special forces or drones to hunt you.

      Get out of here you dirty Paki! No one likes you except dictatorships like China.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Chad S

      We have a saying here in America (and most of the rest of the free world:

      Check the scoreboard.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • Crown

      you must have just gotten a computer so Ill fill you, about a year ago we flew into your country, without your leaderships permission, and killed a nototious terrorist you had been harboring and GTFO before you even heard the gunshots....welcome to the party though!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Adam

      LOL...enjoy your polio.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • SC2012

      Lol Pakistan owns the US? They may own a bunch of Green Cards but that's about it. That's why we run operations in your country with or without your permission. What a joke. Can I get a large slurpie please?

      July 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • evalue8

      LMAO, great comments back to krm.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  67. Popeye the Sailor

    Hard to tell from the photo, but I don't see a radio mast or antenna of any kind. I imagine the ship tried to warn them by radio as a first step.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  68. nolongerarepublican

    "We were speeding up to try and go around them"
    WRONG. The small vessel is the give way vessel, they should have let the larger ship proceed under Maritime rules.
    I think they were paid by the Iranians to test our Navy or get photos of the ship for terrorists.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • mike

      Wrong. Under the international rules, the larger ship has the right of way only in restricted waters. Not the case here. In this case, the navy ship had the right of way because it was being overtaken by a faster overtaking vessel. The navy ship was doing 3-5 knots. The fishing vessel was probably doing 6-7 knots. At poitn #2 the fishing vessel probably decided not to pass ahead and altered course to pass astern. Aiming at the staborad side does not mean it will hit the starboard side. The relative speeds of the two vessels means the fishing vessel would pass clear astern. So the fishing vessel was maneavering to pass astern wen it got shot. Radio and visual warnings useless because no radio and loud sound of engine. It's sad that our state of affairs has gotten so bad that we have to shoot at any vessel that gets close. No winners here.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • max3333444555

        100 yards is pretty close before the fatal shots were fired. if that is what happened i dont see any issue with what the crew did by firing. the indian ship didnt have to turn around. at any point they could have simply killed the engines and waited for the larger ship to pass.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • jayesh

      You couldn't sound more pathetic.I reckon you watch many spy movies.Victims were mere fishermen working in Dubai on daily wages.Such bollocks can be expected from a former republican only.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • SWO

      Not to mention the fact that, anyone who is worth the salt on their shirt at sea knows that if you are trying to get ahead of someone you don't turn directly towards their beam.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
      • mike

        When they got shot, they werent trying to get ahead. They had altered course and were maneuvering to pass astern.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  69. jayesh

    "The primary investigation confirms that the boat was in its right course and did not pose any danger. The shooting was clearly a mistake,” Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai’s influential police chief, was quoted as saying by the UAE daily The National.
    I rest my case,yanks.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • nolongerarepublican

      What's with the "yanks" thing?
      You can't be British because British people are not as dumb as you seem to be.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Drastic

      of course he does not say why it was an obvious mistake when they were within 100 yards of the Navy ship, speeding up and ignoring warnings – the only obvious mistake was on the Indian boat and their lack of brainpower

      July 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • Diana R

      And you're assuming that some cop in Dubai couldn't be biased, or in error? Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, N.C. said the Navy was right. So there.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
      • jayesh

        Dahi Khalfan Tamim is Lt.General and chief of Dubai police force and not some county sheriff.Please,at least be resonable.

        July 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • momzna

      What do you mean by "influential police chief"? Does he have influenza?

      July 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • CEK

      This Post is a general response to all posters not Jayesh in particular......This incident has nothing to do with race or culture. It is an unfortunate incident yes but the USNS did everything it was supposed to do based on US DOD policy regarding rules of engagement and the Use of Force continuum. Unfortunately the Indian vessel did everything it was not supposed to do. Based on the diagram presented here the manuevers the Indian vessel made were all agressive in nature. The USNS has no idea who it is what is onboard that vessel or the intent. The USNS escalation of force was used appropriately in this case. I know, I'm a Qualified Navy Patrol Boat Coxswain for the USN and have been there, done that througout the Gulf region.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  70. Wow

    ...they did the right thing. Or did you all forget the last time a "fishing" boat came up beside an aircraft carry and blew a hole in teh side of it.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  71. ken kor

    Lets see. I'm in the water and I aim my boat at a USA Navy vessal and speed up racing straight at it. And were are surprised a man was shot really. Are we this stupid ! Put a boat in the water and go full speed at a Iran Warship or Chinese Warship and see what happens. Kill all Stupid people !

    July 18, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • nolongerarepublican

      I am sorry we did not get them all.
      They were up to no good.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
  72. Bill from GA

    I'm not convinced the incident was so innocent.

    A fishing boat with THREE large outboards. Two would be a safety measure; three is for speed. Gotta catch a lot of fish to feed 3 outboards and still make a profit.

    Might be Iran testing us, again. Next time, blow em out of the water at 300 yards.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
  73. Logic

    Tough example, but I bet no one else in a small boat makes the same mistake.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  74. Realityblowz

    Perhaps a nice powerful strobing laser pointed toward the cabin of the oncoming vessel, as one last resort? It would be preferable to turn away with a temporary blind spot, than a .50 cal round punching your chest at sub sonic speed.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • VR13

      And better yet, make sure you aim at the arm of a capitan, in a non-lethal manner. Duh!...

      July 18, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • scott

      I think they were talking about mounting the LRAD's (Long Range Acoustical Device) on ships for just this purpose. Non-lethal disruptive weapon.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  75. boyrnc

    How is opening fire not "resorting to force"? What definition of "force" is being used here?

    July 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • nolongerarepublican

      They shot to disable, not to kill.
      THIS is why we need to bring the draft back.
      Kids just don't know anything about the military except when they open their mouths to spew clueless garbage.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
      • boyrnc

        Of course, how naive of me not to realize that only in the military can you fire a .50 calibre machine gun at a fishing boat and not have that considered force.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  76. FedUpwithLA

    The question shouldn't be "Why?", it should be "Why not?"

    July 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  77. nolongerarepublican

    Well if some so called fishermen from India (they lost?) say the US Navy opened fire on them without warning, then it must be true.
    100 yards is TOO close. A large IED on a boat loaded with shrapnel can kill a lot of our sailors at that range.
    They should have fired on it a lot sooner.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  78. Willie12345

    Fired a 50 cal on a vessel many times, while it's fairly accurate, two moving vessels rocking and rolling ...... plus the nature of a machine gun, it naturally spreads the rounds across an area. It is not a snipers weapon by any means. The Navy guys did it right and the fisherman were either very foolish and terrible sailors.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  79. Beadlesaz

    Well done, U.S. Navy!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  80. MrLowe

    I can't fault the Navy Security team for their actions in light of the USS Cole incident. Thanks to terrorism, you have to be on your P's and Q's 24/7.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  81. Lars

    It was probably a test of defenses. The planning for possible future attacks. Just because they are Indian means nothing. A terrorist can be anyone disenchanted with USA. RE Mumbai. I wouldn't be surprised if there wouldn't be a two stage type of attack in the future using this technique: draw fire using a skiff to distract crew while something else is done. I hope crews are extra vigil now. They are floating targets.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
  82. cedar rapids

    Just as a question...they said they fired at position 5, which to me looks like they were facing away from the ship and obviously going around it. Why did they feel they were still in danger at that point?

    July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • nolongerarepublican

      Well since I was not there, I have no idea what was actually happening with the ship opened fire, and neither does anyone else here. But, I am totally confident the crew was justified in shooting at the small ship.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • cedar rapids

        well for someone that was not there you do seem to be pretty confident in claiming it was all a terrorist test run in your other posts.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • VR13

      And how long do you think it takes to turn the small vessel so that it faces the ship again? 3-4 seconds?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  83. Drastic

    "We were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at," the injured fisherman said.

    that is exactly what a boat with suicide terrorists would do. They got within 100 yards, they ignored warnings, they then started speeding up. They are very lucky any of them survived their stupidity. We live in a world where terrorists will try anything to cause death and destruction. I praise the ship and its crew for taking the right steps to protect themselves and for their restraint in not destroying the boat outright.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  84. Keel Hauler

    Stupid is as stupid dies....

    July 18, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
  85. jelliot1978

    Since this was a fuel supply ship what would everyone be saying if the crew had not acted and another USS Cole incident happened? How much fuel/oil would have been spilled into the ocean? The security crew acted within reason IF all the actions where taken. I regret the loss of the fisherman's life and wish it hadn't happened but those sailors have a duty to protect their ship. A vessel, according to the diagram, makes a turn directly towards a ship with little to no maneuverability and does not respond to numerous warnings then firing on the vessel is the only course that could have been taken.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  86. OverseasIndian

    The US Navy murdered an innocent Indian in high seas – It is an act of cowardice. No warning were provided. The usual spin doctoring and high fallutant language to cover up this murder. Cowards of US Navy!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Flatsguide

      Calm down or your Pakistani masters will get mad at you.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
      • Crown

        hahahaha wonderful english there. at least i think thats what it was supoosed to be

        July 18, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • pozin

      How do you say twit in Indian?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • NDjr

        You just did!

        July 18, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Keel Hauler

      Go chew some lead.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Drastic

      cowards of the US Navy – REALLY ???? How about stupidity of Indian fishermen

      July 18, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • sputty100

      Oh, so you were on the fishing boat and actually saw all this transpire? Yea, right. I call Bulls***!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Yeah, ok there

      We're you there? (ok then, back to your dinner..and RELAX.)

      July 18, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • me

      You don't know anything....Were you there... Idon't think so

      July 18, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • fifan61

      stfu stupid

      July 18, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Name*

      The only only thing the navy did wrong was they should have sunk the boat with gun fire. They were terrorist for sure and they were not innocent by any means.. Maybe you should have joines them for boat ride you idiot.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  87. jdima

    This makes much more sense to me now finding out they were Indians (dot). I work with a lot of Indians and they, for the most part, are TOTALLY oblivious to their surroundings. I do believe the survivors that in their mind, there was no warnings. I doubt they saw or heard anything. That is just the way they are. Frankly I am surprised their race lasted this long.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • OverseasIndian

      It will outlast you cowardly convert hiding behind a pseudonym ....

      July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
      • Willie12345

        Calm down. No one wanted to kill anyone intentionally. The lost of life is sad. In this area of the ocean everyone needs to be careful and aware of the situation around them.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • Diana R

        OverseasIndian: You called the other writer a "cowardly convert hiding behind a pseudonym". Isn't "Overseasindian" a pseudonym?

        July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Dawn in Canada

      Uhhh....yeah. Unlike the American "race" who are so adept at reading global warning signs are never embarassingly oblivious to the long term negative effects of their foreign policy. Or how well they prevented an obesity epidemic. And how they pinched urban gun violence in the bud. etc etc etc
      I'm filing you under /moron/

      July 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • Uncle Sam

        Hey Canada, shut up and get to the back of the bus where you belong. Jealous dim wits...

        July 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • JustAGuy

      Why you're not racist at all!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • wagman

      I was in the Ohio National Guard, part of an Air Defense Artillery Battery, we were equiped with the M-42 Duster and we did our arial target trainning at Camp Perry on Lake Erie. There were warnings posted in the local newspapers and broadcast on TV and radio but stupid fishermen would still come into the range. It's pretty impressive to see 10, twin 40 mm self propelled vehicles fire salvos of warning shots into the lake and see the rounds exploding down range. The fishermen must have thought that the fish were jumping there and they just came closer. We'd end up shutting down the range and send out an OH-58 out to chase the offenders off. There are stupid people everywhere who think that warnings don't apply to them.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
  88. Reality

    You don't want to get shot up ... Don't Speed Up to A "Navy Ship" and IGNORE THE Warning SHOTS and BULLHORNS...............IDIOTS.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Flatsguide

      Darwinism at it's highest level!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  89. ChEB

    Fact is after USS Cole if your stupid enough to approach any vessel covered in grey paint within a few hundred yards you put your life at risk. The Navy did what it was supposed to do and saddly someone died as a result of their own stupidity.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Ha

      it might be stupidity or it might be just miscommunication...the fact is there should be some procedure to avoid such incidents in the future since a lot of innocent ships have come under fire due to the threats of piracy and and terrorism

      July 18, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
      • MrSkippy

        It sounds like there were a LOT of procedures in place and that (according to the story) they were followed to the letter.

        Generally speaking, if someone fires a .50 BMG into the ground/water in front of you, you should probably STOP whatever you're doing. If you keep going you're probably gonna get shot.

        July 18, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • Crown

        you make way too much snese for 90% of people posting here. stop it. right now. people are starting to get confused.

        July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • ChEB

        there usually is. there are often US Navy security boats which act as escorts, those vessel will physically intercept anything that gets too close by blocking the path the unknown vessel. Anyone that seen US naval ship's go in and out of Jebel Ali sees these guys however it appears that weren't on station that day. If they were I guarantee the fishing boat wouldn't have been fired on.

        July 18, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • Cheese Wonton

        If you bothered to read the article, the security detail did everything possible to alert the approaching boat but grab the skipper of the other boat by the ear to get the boat to turn around. The skipper of that boat claims they were trying to get past the Rappahannock, yet they sailed directly at her starboard beam. The other boat has a responsibility to maintain radio comms on the assigned civilian frequencies for that port, and they have a responsibility to pay attention to what other ships are doing. This Indian skipper was clueless, which is unfortunate for them, but does not relieve the US Navy from responsibility to protect their ship from what might just as easily have been a suicide attack. Until reading this article I did not know the boat approached to within 90 yards before it was fired on. That is close. I'm sure the crew was sucking air through their teeth as that boat approached.

        July 18, 2012 at 10:54 am |
      • PEACE-NOT-WAR

        WHY DO WE JUST TAKE THE WORD OF USNS AND NOT FISHERMEN BEFORE THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE? EVERYONE CAN AGREE WITH THE WARNING PROCEDURES BUT WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE IF ANY WERE FOLLOWED. NO SMALL BOAT AT SEA WANTS TO APPROACH A LARGE VESSEL ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE FIRING IN TO THE WATER IN FRONT OF YOU. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THE SECURITY TEAM MIGHT HAVE JUST FREAKED OUT AND PULLED THE TRIGGER SINCE THERE ISN'T ENOUGH TIME AND NOW ARE TRYING TO COVER THEIR ASS. 3 MINUTES IS NOT ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH ALL THE THINGS THEY SAID THEY TRIED BEFORE FIRING.
        IF IT WAS AN IRANIAN OR NORTH KOREAN VESSEL THAT SHOT AT AMERICAN OR EUROPEAN SMALL BOAT, ALL THE COMMENTS HERE WOULD BE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. THINK AGAIN IF YOU EVER FELT LIKE RACE DOESN'T PLAY A ROLE. BEFORE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS AND SHOW OFF YOUR PATRIOTISM TAKING THE SIDE OF YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN, TRY THINKING THIS THROUGH FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • sw

        What part of speeding TOWARDS a Navy ship do people not understand? They are lucky there were any surviviors...

        July 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • goodquestion

        They should outlaw piracy, terrorism, fishing, cruising, hell all forms of marine activity to include surfing and sand castle building so the USN can just float about doing its thing

        July 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Brad76

      Pretty much this. Not a very intelligent decision, they should know better.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
  90. Big John

    What the story did not report, other warning methods were used including visual (a laser dazzler) and audio (air horn). Not to mention the first series of warning shots which were ignored.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • 1nation

      how do you know ..were you on the boat ? no warning shots were fired ..cowards are always cowards

      July 18, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
      • ChEB

        I work aboard USNS ship's and my friends are on there. Warning shots were fired

        July 18, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • Crown

        says the guy talking crap and claiming to be an expert on an internet message board. I bet your parents basement is SUPER nice though!

        July 18, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • Crown

        says the guy talking crap and claiming to be an expert on an internet message board. I bet your parents basement is SUPER nice though!!

        July 18, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • steve

        It states in the article warning shots are fired ahead of the vessel as part of escalation in defending the vessel. Thanks also to Big John who seems to have direct knowledge, we all know there are strict protocols in play with chain of command and control. Now, the 'fishermen' made a very bad, continual set of mistakes until it led to this. Maybe one could argue they thought they were being hailed by the vessel, but I don't know anyone that thinks 50 caliber rounds are a hearty handshake.

        July 18, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • RU nuts

        IT WAS reported that warning shots were fired. It is Stander operating procedure. (were you on the boat...Dick).

        July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • ChEB

        like i give a rats ass what you think crown. I haven't seen the states in 10 months because of this job. After being in and out of Fujairah and Djibouti i'd gladly take my parents basement over this arm pit part of the world. You can have the heat and brown skies

        July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • Crown

        U Mad Bro?

        July 18, 2012 at 11:08 am |
      • Chad

        It must be easy to sit back and second guess everything. I served my country proudly for 8 years and I can tell you that making a quick decision that involves the loss of life is no easy thing. It always saddens me when I read post from people who don't appreciate the freedoms that our men and women provide us. Anyway...I completely disagree with your post. It's rather insulting to the men and women out there protecting your A**.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • knucklecheese

        1nation, you wouldn't know dick if was in your mouth. Shouldn't you be at school or something?

        July 18, 2012 at 11:03 am |
      • Flatsguide

        Were YOU there? Probably would have been crying below decks if you were.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • BG

        Warning shots were fired. If you were stupid enough to be on an overtake course, then turn TOWARD a Navy vessel AND ignore all the warnings, which I know from experience are loud enough, you could hear the horn even if you were inside the hood of the outboard engine, you should have been shot, the navy gave them warnings shots and should not have, that boat was large enough to carry enough explosives that the blast circle would have been well beyond the 150 meters.

        The actions of indian i_diots in thi sboat looks like they were paid to probe defenses. Anybody check that? CNN certainly wouldn't, nor would r_etards from outside teh US, they would just whine and saty how bad the Navy is.

        I say to clowns like you, BRING IT ON

        July 18, 2012 at 11:08 am |
      • tetsuo

        So you assert that only the people on the ship can say for sure whether warnings were issued or not, then go on to say that no warnings were issued. You're an idiot.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:19 am |
      • T

        Idiots are always idiots – this includes you and the Indian crew.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  91. 1nation

    i wonder us ship they shot from is made in china lols

    July 18, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Rappahannock was built by Avondale Shipyards in Louisiana.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • Chad

      You're pathetic!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
  92. bling

    what you expect from cowards shooting at inocents and running away like a lil biatch

    July 18, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • blong

      Facepalm.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      To answer you question bling, very little. It seems that these bozoes are quite trigger happy. In fact, that's the reason that they're in the military in the first place!!!

      July 18, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
      • Quickcuda

        Bling and G Patton, Absolute idiots. The sailors onboard the RAP did what they needed to do to protect the ship. Bleeding hearts like yourselves would never understand courage, honor, commitment. What wastes of a square foot you are.

        July 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • Sandman

        bling and george, how about the both of you try it and see what happens? What a waste of space the two of you are. When you are at sea keep your radios on. If you don't have a radio they will start blowing horns and flashing lights. Loud speakers start. Heck even if you don't understand the language maybe they are trying to talk to you? Heck splashes of 50 cal across your direction of travel should warn you that maybe you are going the wrong way? Or maybe you would rather see a F-18 at 400 knots and 25 feet? Would that make you think you are doing something wrong? Or would you just rather they get close and explode?

        July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • CPOgemini

        You must be a Liberal coz your so DUMB!

        July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I assume you are referring to the type of attacks undertaken by "pirates" and not efforts by the US Military to protect our overseas interests. The "Indian Fisherman" was warned by radio, and by other signaling methods to not come any closer. What would your post have been had that "Fisherman" actually been laden with explosives and had managed to hit and disable or sink the Rappahannock? Would you have been similarly outraged by our not taking any actions resulting in the destruction of the ship and the associated loss of lives?

      July 18, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
      • warnercc

        If that would have happened, then they would have been complaining about the resulting oil spill. You can't win with these idiots. What the real crime here is that my 27 year old daughter is out there protecting their butts. Can you say hiding behind a skirt?

        July 18, 2012 at 11:28 am |
      • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

        Warnercc, I spent 12 years as a raghat, myself. If I had been part of the detail on the RAP, I would have opened fire, too!

        July 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  93. Harry Ravenswood

    Indian fisherman: "We were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at,"

    Actually it appears as though the fishing vessel was headed directly into the side of the US Navy ship. That happens to be the precise formula for suicide by fishing. It's like they saw a bubbling volcano, and said, "ooooo, pretty!" and tried to stick their hand inside.

    They must have been smuggling hash.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • Logic

      They were trying to jump its wake.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  94. Ed

    No probs .. It is just bloody Indians whose life cost nothing .. or a few bucks at the maximum.. Had it been an american or if it is the otherway around ( Indian navy firing at americans), well ... it is a different case. The US ambassodor himself would have arrived at the scene.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • Fred Krunkelstein

      No, just no. Americans don't go boating without radios and other signaling devices. Nor do we commonly board vessels not so equipped. I'm telling you if they weren't actually terrorists, and who knows either way, then they have to have been high. India does not provide equal access to education like we have here in the US, and maybe that was at play here.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • bling

      you got that right brother ... poor souls have no value but if it was americans ...

      July 18, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Dick Santorum

      A few more bucks than the price of the ones that died on 9/11. That's all.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  95. Alexandra Lovegood

    Notice the direction of travel at point #1 compared with when the dingy goes from point #2 to point #3. I would have said fire at will at that instant (this is why I'm a physicist and not a naval sea commander). I'm amazed at the level of calm demonstrated by ship security. I'm almost willing to issue them all "demerits" or whatever for allowing the boat to reach point #5, but it all happened so fast!

    July 18, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Quickcuda

      Lovegood, The Officer onboard the ship waited until the last possible moment before using deadly force. Any reasonable person who is properly trained would do the same. No one wants to take a life needlessly. Unfortunately for the persons on the boat their inability to recognize escalating warning indicators resulted in a likely tragedy. I say likely because this still may turn out to be something other than innocent maneuvering.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
  96. Luna Potter

    Nice fishing boat you got there.......looks like a whole lot of fishing going on there.

    That would have scared the living buhjeepers out of me.... good l-rd.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  97. Mazo

    So the US Navy have themselves said that in under 2 minutes they went from " first level of defensive, nonlethal warning procedures" to firing with a .50 cal. This boat probably didn't have a radio, so any radio warning would be meaningless and that leaves the fishing boat with less than a 1 minute to see a warning and veer away or get shot!

    Also after firing at the boat, they made no attempt to render aid or ascertain whom they shot at, they just shot at people and just sped away! Even drunk drivers show more etiquette on the road! If this is "standard procedure", it leaves a hell of a lot of room for improvement.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • Matzo

      A boat in international waters without a flag or a radio is begging for the Charles Darwin award.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
      • Quickcuda

        Not in International waters. The incident occurred 10 miles off shore from Jebel Ali. That is within the territorial seas of the UAE. Not that it matters anyway. Ships have the inherent right of self defense regardless of where they are. As to your point about rendering assistance? If you thought you were under attack by an explosives laden craft and just took action to neutralize that attack, would you turn around send your people to that craft to render medical aid? Think not.

        July 18, 2012 at 9:36 am |
      • OverseasIndian

        Go to that part of the world and see for yourself how things are different – Americans are like communists who are programmed to believe that their view of the world is the only truth. This may be more of a dying Christian trait. The world is far more free, and un-organized, on the other side of the globe.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • Crown

        Thank you, international scholar! I hope you're a college professor so that you may share more of your wisdom

        July 18, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • BID DOG

      thats what warning shot are for u moron.....

      July 18, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
      • casper

        fishermen said there were no warning shots Big Dope. read the article.

        July 18, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Casper, the fishermen also claimed they were trying to overtake the Rappahannock, yet they were sailing right at the ship's starboard beam. I do not think the story the crew of the fishing boat is telling is reliable.

        July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • Jon

        Not only that but if a ship started firing IN FRONT of my boat, I may think that they were shooting AT me. What's not to say that the fishermen freaked out at the first site of fire, not realizing they were warning shots. It is possible, especially since this article does not make the fishermen seem like the brightest bulbs in the box...

        July 18, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Cheese Wonton

      Number one, a responsible boat operator does not sail with a radio to communicate with other water craft and ships with on frequencies assigned for that purpose by port authorities. Second, the crew of Rappahannock could not be certain what the crew of that "fishing" boat were up to. Their primary responsibility is to protect their ship. They had just shot at that boat to stop it from approaching closer than the 90 yards it a was when shots were fired. The crew did not know with certainty what the boat was up to, and the rules of engagement in such an incident is to use full speed to leave the area.
      Imagine what could have happened if it was a suicide attack boat and the Rappahannock approached it close in to see if the crew was injured. Talk about making it easy for the enemy to attack you. You would not even want to send a rubber boat out to check it out fearing the crew of the fishing boat would attack them. This isn't cowardice, it is a well thought out set of rules of engagement the crew is trained to follow.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • Mazo

        Actually, there is no "requirement" that a fishing vessel must carry a radio. Even the USCG does not "require" that and most of the fishermen in the Gulf don't use radios. Also, when you are so close to shore, it is expected that you will run into some fishing vessels who might not have radios.

        The rules of engagement call for the ship to "move to safe distance", they don't call for "fleeing the scene" which is what happened. Defending their ship might be their first priority but it is also the priority of all naval sailors, not only naval sailors to render aid to those in distress when possible and to act responsibly.

        I don't know too much about American culture, but it is common decency in most parts of the civilized world to find out what exactly you shot at when you shoot in self defense. Shooting something and moving away without looking back is what gangsters and mobsters do – not people who have done the right thing. Considering that there were no other vessels in the area and the naval ship had the advantage of radar, radio, firepower and equipment, it is puts the US Navy in an uncomfortable position of being seen "fleeing the scene".

        Lastly, I can't accept your argument that they couldn't have launched a boat once they had moved off to a safe distance. The Naval ship would still have the ability to fire its guns and destroy the fishing boat if it posed any further danger while any smaller boat could approach and inspect what exactly they shot at. Maybe if they had, one fisherman's life might have been saved.
        Would this have put the lives of some of the naval sailors in danger ? Maybe, but the right to carry arms in self defense as naval sailors also carries with it the duty to act responsibly and responsible thing here would have been to at least idenitfy what they shot at and radio the nearest port for aid if they can't do so themselves. Moving away full speed demonstrates a callous disregard for other people's lives especially when there "threat" of the fishing boat posed was neutralized by gunfire!

        July 19, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • scee

      They did the right thing by "speeding away" after they fired those shots. IF it had been a terrorist attack, and there were explosives on the boat, then remaining in place would have insured that the ship would have still been damaged if the explosives were set on a timer...or, if the boat driver was still able to drive it, he could have still hit the ship deliberately...or if the boat driver were killed, the boat could have still been engaged and meandered into the side of the ship. All of these scenarios could have caused the ship to be blown up if the fishing vessel were in fact laden with explosives. Leaving and not rendering aid was pretty darn smart, and a good policy considering the possible alternative.

      I have also lived in Dubai in the past, and although I do not like to buy into stereotypes, when I heard the news report on CNN on TV, I wondered why the heck anybody would head towards a military ship and ignore warnings. THEN I heard it was full of Indians, and I said out loud, "Well, that makes perfect sense then." They are nice folks, but completely oblivious and clueless to their surroundings. I am not surprised in the least.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • Mazo

        Your explanation is wrong on so many levels – first, this was UAE waters where a UAE company was operating which gives them more right to be there than the US Navy, second there are thousands of fishermen operating close to shore any any half decent sailor knows to expect and anticipate small vessels so close to shore, third after firing at a boat which was about 100 yards away the "civilized" thing to do would be to wait to ascertain what exactly you shot at – not run away like a criminal from a crime!
        The US naval vessel should properly have launched a inflatable and gone to inspect or ascertain the boat once it had come to a complete stop and within range of the ships guns! And any injured person's on board should have been given first aid and later arrested and deposited in the nearest port.

        Unfortunately, the US Navy has shown that it prefers to use the same rules that mobsters and gangsters use in drive by shootings!

        July 19, 2012 at 1:29 am |
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