Advisory 2011-05


Advisory #: 2011-05
Date Issued: Aug 31 2011
To: MARINERS
Subject: RISK TO VESSELS TRANSITING HIGH RISK WATERS

1.   THIS MARAD ADVISORY PROVIDES INFORMATION ON THE RISK TO VESSELS TRANSITING THE HIGH RISK WATERS (HRW) OF THE GULF OF ADEN (GOA), RED SEA, INDIAN OCEAN, ARABIAN SEA AND WATERS OFF THE HORN OF AFRICA (SOMALIA).

2.   THIS ADVISORY WILL BE PUBLISHED ON THE MARAD WEB SITE AT WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV UNDER THE HORN OF AFRICA PIRACY PORTAL AND ON THE US COAST GUARD HOMEPORT SITE AT HOMEPORT.USCG.MIL/PIRACY.  OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION IS ALSO POSTED ON THESE WEB SITES.

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

4.   U.S.- FLAG SHIPS OPERATING IN HRW ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH US COAST GUARD MARITIME SECURITY (MARSEC) DIRECTIVE 104-6 (CURRENT VERSION). POC IS LCDR JAMES FOGLE, US COAST GUARD, AT 202-372-1038 OR JAMES.T.FOGLE@USCG.MIL.  NONE OF THE GUIDANCE IN THIS NOTICE IS MEANT TO SUPERSEDE MARSEC DIRECTIVE 104-6 (CURRENT VERSION) OR SUPPORTING PORT SECURITY ADVISORIES.

5.  PIRATES ARE ATTACKING VESSELS, INCLUDING YACHTS AND OTHER NON COMMERCIAL VESSELS – SUCH AS SAILBOATS , IN THE GULF OF ADEN, ARABIAN SEA, INDIAN OCEAN, SOUTHERN RED SEA, AND MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL. PIRATES ARE FIRING AUTOMATIC WEAPONS AND ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADES (RPG) IN AN ATTEMPT TO BOARD AND HIJACK VESSELS.  IF AN ATTACK IS SUCCESSFUL AND THE VESSEL IS HIJACKED, PIRATES DIRECT VESSELS TO THE SOMALI COAST AND THEREAFTER DEMAND RANSOM FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF VESSELS AND CREW.  PIRATES USE HIJACKED FISHING AND MERCHANT VESSELS TO CONDUCT PIRACY OPERATIONS AS MOTHER VESSELS TO SAIL FAR FROM THE SOMALI COAST TO ATTACK AND HIJACK VESSELS IN TRANSIT OR AT ANCHOR.  SMALLER SKIFFS ARE LAUNCHED FROM THE PIRATE MOTHER VESSEL TO ATTACK TARGETED VESSELS.

6.  RECENT ATTACKS IN THE SOUTHERN RED SEA AND TO A SHIP AT ANCHOR IN OMAN SHOULD SERVE TO WARN ALL VESSELS OPERATING IN THE HRW THAT THE PIRATES HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO ADAPT TO SHIP PROTECTION MEASURES. THE TRANSITION BETWEEN MONSOON SEASONS BETWEEN OCT THRU NOV WILL BE MORE FAVORABLE FOR PIRATE SKIFF ATTACKS.  MASTERS AND OPERATORS SHOULD ANTICIPATE ATTACKS THAT MAY VARY FROM PAST TACTICS. IN LIGHT OF THE EXTENSION OF THE THREAT TO PORTS AND TERRITORIAL WATERS, MASTERS AND OPERATORS ARE ADVISED TO MAINTAIN ALL APPLICABLE DEFENSIVE AND PROTECTIVE MEASURES THAT ARE LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE DURING THE VESSEL’S TIME IN PORT OR AT ANCHOR.

7.  TRANSIT BY YACHTS AND PRIVATELY OWNED SAILING VESSELS THROUGH HRW IS EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS AND MAY RESULT IN CAPTURE BY PIRATES. THE COAST GUARD ADVISES AGAINST ALL OPERATION OF OR TRAVEL BY YACHT AND PLEASURE CRAFT IN HRW.  VESSELS THAT MAKE THIS PASSAGE DESPITE THIS WARNING SHOULD MAKE CONTACT IN ADVANCE WITH THE NAVAL AUTHORITIES. IN ADDITION, AMERICAN CITIZENS ABOARD SHOULD INFORM THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE OF THEIR PLANS TO TRANSIT THE AREA AND/OR UPDATE THEIR INFORMATION VIA THE SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) ON WWW.TRAVEL.STATE.GOV.  BASIC GUIDANCE FOR TRANSIT CAN BE FOUND AT HTTP://WWW.MSCHOA.ORG/YACHTINGGUIDANCE/PAGES/YACHTINGGUIDANCEONE.ASPX.  IF YOU ARE DUE TO TRAVEL THE AREA OF HIGH THREAT, PLEASE INFORM MSC (HOA) BY EMAILING POSTMASTER@MSCHOA.ORG, WITH THE SUBJECT LINE ‘YACHT VESSEL MOVEMENT’.

8.   RELATED COAST GUARD NOTICE: THE U.S. COAST GUARD ISSUED A NOTICE TO MARINERS ADVISORY FOR YACHTS AND SAILING VESSELS. FOR THE TEXT OF THE COAST GUARD NOTICE, PLEASE GO TO HTTP://HOMEPORT.USCG.MIL/PIRACY.

9.   ALL VESSELS SHOULD REGISTER FOR ACCESS TO MSCHOA WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.MSCHOA.ORG TO OBTAIN UP TO DATE INFORMATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONS IN THE REGION.

10.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THIS ADVISORY, CONTACT CAPTAIN ROBERT FORD, MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF SECURITY, CODE: MAR-420, ROOM W25-308, 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.

11.  CANCEL ADVISORY 2011-01.