The 800 miles exclusion zone, soon brought down to 500, was meant to prevent MiG aircraft from interfering with US naval operations.
Tension rose again and the Strategic Air Command was instructed to move to DEFCON 2, one step short of actual war. US nuclear forces were on permanent alert, ready to strike Soviet territory.
At 10:25 reports came that 16 Soviet vessels had either changed course or come to a halt.
The world was breathing again, but the crisis was not over.