This advisory updates and supersedes U.S. Maritime Advisory 2017-003.
1. Reference: (a) U.S. Maritime Alert 2018-001A
2. Issue: Piracy continues to pose a significant threat in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Gulf of Oman. Specific case details are available at the Office of Naval Intelligence’s “Worldwide Threat to Shipping” and “Piracy Analysis and Warnings” website at www.oni.navy.mil/intelligence-community/piracy.
3. Guidance: U.S. flagged commercial vessels operating within the High Risk Area, as defined in U.S. Coast Guard MARSEC Directive 104-6, are required to comply with this MARSEC Directive due to the high risk of piracy, kidnapping, hijacking, and armed robbery while operating in the region. Vessels are further advised to:
- Navigate at least 200 nautical miles off the Somali coast to the extent practicable;
- Follow the guidance in Best Management Practices 4, BMP4 (www.mschoa.org/docs/public-documents/bmp4-low-res_sept_5_2011.pdf?sfvrsn=0); and
- Comply with their Coast Guard approved Vessel Security Plan annex on counter piracy.
Vessels operating in this region are also advised to establish contact with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Office (UKMTO). UKMTO advisories, warnings, and contact info are available at www.ukmto.org.
4. Department of State Travel Warnings are available at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html. Although there is currently no specific information indicating yachts or sailing vessels are being directly targeted, transit by yachts or privately owned sailing vessels through the region is extremely hazardous and may result in capture. The U.S. Government advises against all operation of, or travel by, yachts or pleasure craft in the region. Vessels that make this passage despite this warning should make contact in advance with naval authorities. 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) at: http://step.state.gov/. Yachting guidance can be found at: http://www.mschoa.org/on-shore/home.
5. U.S. flagged vessels that observe suspicious activity in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Gulf of Oman are advised to report such suspicious activity or any hostile or potentially hostile action to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Battle Watch Captain, phone: +11 973 1785 3879, email: email@example.com. All suspicious activities and events must also be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 800-424-8802 in accordance with 33 C.F.R. 101.305.
6. A Ship Hostile Action Report (SHAR) should also be sent to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) at: http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal?_nfpb=true&_st=&_pageLabel=msi_portal_page_70&subCode=06 as soon as possible following an incident or suspected activity (including apparent surveillance being conducted by small vessels/boats). Reference NGA Pub 117 at (http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=msi_portal_page_62&pubCode=0009) for further guidance.
7. Contact Information: For any questions about this advisory, contact MARADSecurity@dot.gov.
8. Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2017-003.
9. This Advisory will automatically expire on July 20, 2018.