For the third time this month, the U.S. Navy has come to the aid of Iranian fishermen.
On Wednesday, the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey came the the rescue of a sinking Iranian fishing dhow, the Al Mamsoor, after an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter spotted it in the Arabian Sea early Wednesday morning.
The dhow had been flooding for several days, and by the time the U.S. Navy reached the ship, the Iranian crew had abandoned it and climbed onto other dhows nearby.
Still, it was clear that they needed food and water, so the team from the USS Dewey provided the fishermen with 150 pounds of food, water, medical, and hygienic supplies.
Earlier this month, American forces rescued a group of 13 Iranian fisherman who had been held captive by Somali pirates for more than 40 days.
Just days later, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter came to the aid of another six Iranian fisherman in waters off Iraq, after they issued a distress call that their boat was taking on water.
"Without your help, we were dead. Thank you for all you did for us," the owner of the Iranian ship said, according to the Navy.
The rescue operations come amid increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key route for transporting oil globally, in retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
On Wednesday, an Iranian lawmaker claimed that President Barack Obama wrote a secret letter to Iran's supreme leader calling for direct talks with Iran and warning the Islamic Republic against closing the Strait of Hormuz.