Photos Show Type of Navy Patrol Boats in Iranian Custody

This photo shows the type of U.S. Navy rigid-hulled boats that were being held, along with their crews, by Iranian authorities Tuesday after one apparently became disabled while traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain. (U.S. Defense Department photo)130627-N-AZ907-456

The U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday released photos showing the type of small Navy patrol boats that are being held by Iranian authorities, along with 10 U.S. crew members.

Two of the so-called Riverine Command Boats drifted into Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf after one of the reportedly experienced mechanical problems while traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain. Rescue teams from the Harry S. Truman Strike Group — which includes the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman — responded, apparently too late, and remain in the vicinity.

A senior defense official confirmed the incident and said the crew members will be freed. But the statement didn’t specify when — one report indicated they may have to spend the night in Iran — or whether the vessels would also be returned.

“Earlier today, we lost contact with two small U.S. naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain,” the official said in a statement. “We subsequently have been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel. We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey.”

Below is a sampling of photos released by the Pentagon of the type of riverine craft involved in the incident. The fast-attack boats made in Sweden (CB-90) travel at speeds of about 40 knots, transport as many as 20 crew and carry up to several crew-served weapons, including .50-caliber machine guns.

(U.S. Defense Department photo)

(U.S. Defense Department photo)

(U.S. Defense Department photo)

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Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • stephen russell

    didnt crews have any self defense orders when on patrol? Rerun USS Pueblo this time in Iran situation.
    Change ROE orders for forces.

  • Ziv

    Obviously, if one of boats had a propulsion failure and drifted into Iranian waters, they aren’t going to fight to the last man. They would have orders to surrender and wait to be repatriated. This isn’t a video game.
    But how in the he** did TWO boats have propulsion failures simultaneously? They didn’t pack a tow rope?
    Or did the Iranians swarm them while they were in international waters? Or did they try to show the flag within 12 miles of Farsi Island and got surrounded by small boats? I think Farsi is acknowledged to be Iranian soil so they would be at least 12 miles from the island. So they probably weren’t doing a USS Lassen type show the flag and sail within 12 miles to prove that the waters are international waters.
    One of the early reports had one of the craft “aground” on Iranian soil, apparently Farsi Island, but I think that must have been faulty info, because not even the SEALs would land in broad daylight on one of Iran’s most secure islands.
    This is just beyond odd.

    • blight_

      Indeed, you’d think having one boat tow the other would be something specified in capability. It is what makes me suspicious of the whole story.

      Meanwhile the warmongers on both sides will insist on chest beating. While not on the scale of a Franz Ferdinand nations have gone to war over distressingly trivial ideas/notions.

  • CC Clarke

    Transiting from Kuwait to Bahrain? Both countries are situated on the Western side of the Gulf, with Iran on the Eastern side. . . . The Gulf is about 80 miles wide on the transit route. . . Something doesn’t add up here.

  • Roddi

    a b c

  • Apps on Red

    They need more training. Not enough!

  • Bad Ice Cream

    Iranian army recently grabs on the Navy Patrols of enemy country and their photos are uploaded on Internet. This is seriously a sign of war.

  • transformice

    Thanks for showing the great and historical pictures of different events with us.