For the third time this month, the U.S. Navy has come to the rescue of distressed Iranian fishermen -- at the same time Iran has threatened to disrupt a key oil route off its coast.
Guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey rendered aid to the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing dhow in the central Arabian Sea, according to a Navy press release.
A helicopter from the Maritime Strike Squadron 71 spotted the fishing boat Wednesday morning reportedly with one person on board.
"Our first priority was to make sure that all of the crew (of the fishing vessel) was safe," Lt. Will Jourdan, pilot of the helicopter, said in the press release.
After the the vessel had been identified, it was reported back to the Dewey's crew, who then moved in to help the fisherman who had fled the boat and boarded another.
"Once we talked with their captain, it was clear that they needed food and water," Lt. J.G. Jason Dawson, the destroyer's visit, board, search and seizer team's leader, said in the press release.
The crew then provided food, water and medical and hygienic supplies to the fisherman for more than two hours.
Dewey was in the area conducting maritime security operations as part of a scheduled deployment with the John C. Stennis Strike Group. "I am extremely proud of our John C. Stennis Strike Group Sailors for demonstrating once again their readiness to render life-saving assistance at sea," Rear Adm. Craig Faller, said in the press release.
The rescues come despite Iranian threats warning the U.S. Navy to keep its distance from the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran threatens to block if provoked over its nuclear program.
On Jan. 10, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monomy responded to flares fired from the Iranian cargo dhow, Ya-Hussayn, which was experiencing engine troubles.
On Jan. 5, the USS Stennis Strike Group rescued 13 Iranian fisherman held hostage by pirates in the North Arabian Sea.
Fox News' Justin Fishel contributed to this report.