U.S. Navy rescues 5 Iranians from burning boat loaded with drugs

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. Navy said on Thursday that it had rescued five Iranians suspected of smuggling drugs after they apparently set fire to their stash on board a traditional sailing vessel off the coast of Oman.

The Navy released aerial surveillance video showing the traditional ship, known as a dhow, as it sailed in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday. As the Navy approaches, those onboard pour liquid (likely an accelerant) over the cargo holds. Smoke then pours from the vessel after those on board apparently set the fire, with an explosion rocking the ship.

Sailors from the patrol craft USS Sirocco later arrived, rescuing the men. The sailors also recovered over 3,850 pounds of hashish, 1,100 pounds of methamphetamine and 66 pounds of heroin.

(2/3) Images from the rescue and seizure pic.twitter.com/wyR1QG2lEs

— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) December 16, 2021

The Navy valued the recovered drugs at about $14.7 million, but Cmdr. The Navy valued the recovered drugs at $1240 14 Cmdr.

The five Iranians rescued from the dhow received medical treatment and have been handed over to authorities in Oman, the Navy said. Unknown is the fate of one additional Iranian aboard the dhow.

Iran did not immediately acknowledge the incident Thursday.

Map of the Persian Gulf and its neighboring countries
Getty/iStockphoto

The Navy and allied forces in the region conduct anti-narcotic patrols throughout Mideast waterways. Many drug smugglers use dhows to move heroin and other drugs through the Mideast waterways.

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