Crews on two small, pontoon-type British military vessels were boarding another boat in the northern Arabian Sea on a routine mission today, when six Iranian vessels surrounded them.
The Iranians boarded the British boats and took more than a dozen British military personnel into custody.
The Iranians have now taken both the vessels and the military personnel back to Iran.
A similar situation occurred in 2004 in what was at the time disputed waters. That situation only lasted a few days.
U.S. officials say that today's incident was not in a disputed area and that the British vessels were in Iraqi waters.