Advisory #: 2013-05
Date Issued: Jul 23 2013
To: MARINERS
Subject: HIGH RISK WATERS OF THE GULF OF GUINEA

ALL OPERATORS OF U.S. FLAG, EFFECTIVE U.S. CONTROLLED VESSELS, U.S.MERCHANT MARINERS AND OTHER MARITIME INTERESTS

1.THIS MARAD ADVISORY PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO VESSELS TRANSITING AND OPERATING IN THE WATERS OF THE GULF OF GUINEA. 

2.U.S.-FLAG OPERATORS WITH SHIPS IN THE AFFECTED AREA ARE REQUESTED TO FORWARD THIS ADVISORY TO THEIR SHIPS BY THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS MEANS.

3.PIRATES/ARMED GROUPS OPERATING IN GULF OF GUINEA REGION CONTINUE TO CARRY OUT ATTACKS ON VESSELS USING AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. HIJACKINGS OF TANKERS FOR CARGO THEFT (REFINED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS), ROBBERY OF CREW, PASSENGERS, AND SHIPS PROPERTY, AND KIDNAPPINGS FOR RANSOM (KFR) CONTINUE TO BE THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF INCIDENTS.

4.DURING 2011,PIRATES/ARMED GROUPS HIJACKED TANKERS LADEN WITH REFINED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS FOR FUEL THEFT OFF THE NIGERIAN AND BENIN COASTS. IN 2012, PIRATES/ARMED GROUPS EXPANDED THEIR OPERATIONS WESTWARD AND BEGAN ALSO HIJACKING TANKERS OFF TOGO AND THE IVORY COAST. IN MID-JULY 2013, PIRATES/ARMED GROUPS HIJACKED A TANKER NEAR PORT GENTIL OFF THE COAST OF GABON AND AN UNIDENTIFIED GROUP ATTEMPTED TO BOARD A U.S. FLAG VESSEL AT ANCHOR IN LOME,TOGO BUT WERE REPELLED BY THE CREW USING FIRE HOSES.

5.PIRATES/ARMED KFR GROUPS CONTINUE TO TARGET SMALL TUGS AND SUPPLY VESSELS SUPPORTING OIL DRILLING AND EXPLORATION OFF THE NIGER DELTA, BUT IN RECENT MONTHS HAVE ALSO BEGUN TO TARGET MERCHANT VESSELS (TANKER AND CARGO SHIPS) TRANSITING AND OPERATING IN THE REGION. PIRATES/ARMED GROUPS HAVE USED MOTHERSHIPS TO SUPPORT SOME KFR OPERATIONS AND HAVE OPERATED UP TO 150 NAUTICAL MILES FROM THE COAST.

6.PIRATES/ARMED KFR GROUPS SOMETIMES FIRE UPON VESSELS BEFORE BOARDING THEM. THEY NORMALLY TAKE THE MASTER AND SEVERAL OTHER CREWMEMBERS OFF THE VESSEL AND DEMAND A RANSOM IN EXCHANGE FOR THEIR SAFE RETURN.

7.U.S.-FLAG OPERATORS WITH SHIPS IN THE SUBJECT HIGH RISK WATERS (HRW) SHOULD TRANSIT WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND VIGILANCE.

8. U.S. FLAGVESSELS TRANSITING AND OPERATING IN SUBJECT WATERS MUST COMPLY WITH U.S.COAST GUARD MARSEC DIRECTIVE 104-6 (current version) AND ACCORDINGLY, SHOULD CONDUCT A PRE-VOYAGE RISK ASSESSMENT AND INCORPORATE APPROPRIATE PROTECTIVE MEASURES INTO THEIR VESSEL SECURITY PLAN.

9.A SHIP HOSTILE ACTION REPORT (SHAR) SHOULD BE SENT TO THE NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (NGA) AT HTTP://MSI.NGA.MIL/NGAPORTAL/MSI.PORTAL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOLLOWING ANY INCIDENT/SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY, INCLUDING APPARENT SURVEILLANCE BEING CONDUCTED BY SMALL VESSELS/BOATS.  REFERENCE NGA PUB 117 FOR FURTHER GUIDANCE.   

10.MARAD ADVISORIES ARE PUBLISHED ON THE MARAD WEB SITE AT WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV AND THE MARITIME SAFETY INFORMATION WEB SITE: HTTP://MSI.NGA.MIL/NGAPORTAL/MSI.PORTAL UNDER "BROADCAST WARNINGS", SELECT MARAD ADVISORIES TO DETERMINE MARITIME ADVISORIES THAT REMAIN IN FORCE. CONSULT THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION WEB SITE ATHTTP://WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV OR THE MOST RECENT U.S. NOTICE TO MARINERS.

11.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT CAPTAIN ROBERT FORD, MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF SECURITY, CODE: MAR-420, ROOM W25-207, 1200 NEW JERSEY AVE, S.E., WASHINGTON, DC 20590, TELEPHONE 202-366-0223, FACSIMILE 202-366-3954, TLX II 710.822.9426 (MARAD DOT WSH), OR EMAIL: MARADSECURITY@DOT.GOV

12.FOR FUTHER INFORMATION ON THE U.S. COAST GUARD MARSEC DIRECTIVE CONTACT LCDR AARON DEMO, COMMANDANT (CG-CVC-1), 2100 2ND STREET SW, STOP 7581, WASHINGTON DC, 20593, TELEPHONE 202-372-1038, OR EMAIL . AARON.W.DEMO@USCG.MIL.

12. CANCEL ADVISORY 2010 – 07.