Here's the Secretary of Defense's statement on the release of the 10 US sailors by Iran this morning:
WASHINGTON, January 13, 2016 — Ten U.S. Navy sailors who were traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain yesterday when contact was lost with their pair of small craft are back in U.S. hands.
“I want to personally thank Secretary of State John Kerry for his diplomatic engagement with Iran to secure our sailors' swift return,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement today. “Around the world, the U.S. Navy routinely provides assistance to foreign sailors in distress, and we appreciate the timely way in which this situation was resolved.”
A U.S. Naval Forces Central Command news release said the sailors departed Farsi Island shortly before 4 a.m. EST aboard the two riverine command boats they had been operating when they lost contact with the U.S. Navy. The sailors later were transferred ashore by U.S. Navy aircraft, the news release said, and other sailors took charge of boats and continued transiting toward Bahrain.
Here's Joe Biden this morning on CBS:
Well, I can tell you that what happened was that apparently, we had, from our military, one of the boats had engine failure and drifted into Iranian waters.
The Iranians picked up both boats as we have picked up Iranian boats where — that needed to be rescued and took them to — I’m not sure exactly where. I don’t want to misspeak here.
And realized they were there and distressed and said they were releasing and released them like ordinary nations would do. That is the way nations should do about it and that is why it’s important to have channels open.
A couple of things don't add up given the information we have so far.
First, according to the map in one BBC article, to wind up in Iranian waters while transiting from Kuwait to Bahrain the sailors would have to go what appears to be at least 50 miles offshore to the east. Why a small boat would wind up that far into the Persian Gulf to complete the stated mission seems rather bizarre to me.
Second, if one boat was disabled why didn't the other boat toss them a line and tow them away from Iranian waters? It doesn't seem plausible to me that that wasn't an option.
At a minimum there is more to this story that we haven't been told. The only question is whether our dullard news media will do their job or continue to be Obama's lapdogs.