Watch the Navy and Coast Guard's Risky Encounter with Iranian Speedboats

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Two Iranian attack craft.
Two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy fast in-shore attack craft conducted maneuvers while operating in close proximity to U.S. naval vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz, May 10, 2021. (U.S. Navy)

The Defense Department released two brief videos Monday night showing part of an encounter between U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels and fast-moving, armed Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz earlier that day.

The military said Monday that 13 fast boats, armed with machine guns, from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy surrounded a formation of American ships transiting the strait and "conducted unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers."

After several attempts to communicate with the Iranian boats failed to dissuade them from their fast approaches, the military said, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maui fired two volleys of warning shots from its .50-caliber machine gun. The Iranian boats broke off contact after the second volley, which was fired when they were within 150 yards.

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It is unclear from which ship the videos were taken. But the first video shows the Iranian boats near a U.S. vessel, with a pair of helicopters -- possibly from the guided missile cruiser Monterey, which carries helicopters -- hovering nearby. This video also includes shots of other American ships, including the guided missile submarine Georgia and a Coast Guard cutter, as the Iranian boats speed nearby.

The second video shows Coast Guardsmen standing behind their ship's guns, observing the Iranian boats. In this video, the Coast Guard ship can be heard sounding its horn five times in an attempt to warn the Iranians to break off.

The videos do not show the Maui firing warning shots.

-- Stephen Losey can be reached at stephen.losey@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StephenLosey.

Related: Coast Guard Cutter Fires Warning Shots at Charging Iranian Speedboats

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