A victim of troubled waters
The details surrounding the shooting of a fisherman off the UAE coast by the US Navy remained unclear this morning.
It appears the man's vessel approached the USNS Rappahannock off Jebel Ali and was warned to keep its distance. Security personnel onboard the ship then opened fire, killing the Indian man and injuring three of his shipmates.
Both the US and UAE authorities are investigating the incident, and the reasons for the fishing boat's actions have yet to be disclosed.
However, questions will also be asked about the level of the US response to whatever "threat" the vessel was deemed to have presented.
It looks likely, though, that the fisherman who died is a victim of the tension that grips the Arabian Gulf at the moment.
Iran's bluster about shutting the Strait of Hormuz over sanctions, the spread of piracy as Somali gangs search farther afield and the ever-present threat of terrorism mean that this strip of water is under unprecedented scrutiny.
There have been incidents of Iranian ships 'buzzing' the US fleet, while in 2010 the M Star supertanker was damaged as it entered the Strait of Hormuz, by what some people at the time said was a dinghy packed with explosives, although there have been conflicting reports since on the exact cause.
The US Navy also recently increased its presence in the Gulf with extra minesweepers and warships, while The Pentagon said on Monday that it is sending another aircraft carrier to the Middle East earlier than expected to ensure it has two carriers continuously in the region.
All this means that while things may be calm on land in the UAE, the waters off our coast are pretty rough.
And this latest incident will only increase that tension, so it is vital that it is investigated both thoroughly and openly. And if mistakes have been made that these are exposed and addressed.
Simon Pluckrose is Head of News at Al Sidra Media LLC, publisher of 7DAYSinDubai.com, 7DAYSinAbuDhabi.com and 7DAYS newspaper