A major and dangerous close call between US and Russia has unfolded in the north Arabian sea near the Persian Gulf. A Russian warship “aggressively approached” a US Navy destroyer, nearly hitting it, a US Navy statement said Friday.
The US Navy further released video of the incident, which reportedly involved repeat warnings issued from the US vessel over a risk of collision. This included five warning blast signals issued from the deck of the US destroyer, the USS Farragut.
CLOSE CALL: Navy releases video of a Russian ship approaching the USS Farragut in the North Arabian Sea yesterday. pic.twitter.com/jRxu2p0LjV— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) January 10, 2020
“On Thursday, Jan. 9, while conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea, USS Farragut was aggressively approached by a Russian Navy ship,” the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which operates in the Persian Gulf and Middle East said in a statement.
“Farragut sounded five short blasts, the international maritime signal for danger of a collision, and requested the Russian ship alter course in accordance with international rules of the road.”
The US Navy underscored that the Russian vessel made an "aggressive approach" which very nearly resulted in collision in the open seas. Indeed video confirms the two ships came very close to one another.
On Thursday, Jan. 9, while conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea, USS Farragut (DDG 99) was aggressively approached by a Russian Navy ship. pic.twitter.com/SCVyTINNqe— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) January 10, 2020
"The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course,” the statement added, and noted further: “While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision.”
According to a CNN report of the incident, the Russian vessel came as close as 180 feet from the US ship, close enough for each side to directly and physically communicate from the decks.
In one video a US Navy crew member can be seen running in the direction of the Russian destroyer in order to establish voice contact and wave the vessel off.
Importanly, the USS Farragut is part of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier group deployed to the region last year to ensure open and safe passageway for vessels traversing the vital Strait of Hormuz amid soaring tensions with Iran.