UPDATE: The US Fifth Fleet Public Affairs Office got in touch with us on Thursday morning to confirm that indeed an Iranian motorized dhow was the boat fired on. Not a sailboat. And for the 200 millionth time this year, American journalists prove they are idiots.
Sailing made the major international news last night when news sites everywhere began reporting that the a RIB from the USCG Island-Class Cutter Monomoy fired a single warning shot at an Iranian ‘sailboat’ yesterday in the Arabian Gulf, though we suspect that, as usual, they’ve got it somewhat wrong – at least the part about the sailboat. As far as we can tell, the US 5th Fleet reported only that a tender to the Monomoy fired a warning shot at an Iranian dhow in response to the boat pointing a .50 cal machine gun at the RIB, which was approaching the Iranian boat for an inspection. While there are certainly sailing dhows in the area – some of them pretty awesome – we suspect that stupid reporters and editors are behind this one; a quick search for the word ‘dhow’ could certainly lead a moron reporter and editor to think the US was trying to sink a sailboat despite the fact that there are far more non-sailing dhows than sailing dhows.
Of course the USCG is pretty useless, too. When we tried to verify the dhow story with the Commander responsible for media inquiries at USCG HQ, we found his voicemail to be full – and this is the guy whose primary job is to field phone calls from reporters. We’ll update you if his e-mail inbox isn’t over its limit.