2018-001-Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb, and Gulf of Aden-Violence Due to Regional Conflict and Piracy
1. Reference: (a) U.S. Maritime Alert 2018-001A
2. Issue: The conflict in Yemen continues to pose a risk to U.S. flagged commercial vessels transiting the southern Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb and Gulf of Aden. Combat operations continue between the Houthi’s and the Saudi-led Coalition. Since 2016, Houthi forces have attacked Coalition navy and logistics vessels and attempted to attack U.S. Navy ships operating in the southern Red Sea. As combat operations continue, the potential exists that attacks by Houthi forces may pose a direct or collateral risk to U.S. flagged commercial vessels operating in the region.
3. Guidance: It is recommended that U.S. flagged commercial vessels avoid entering or loitering near Yemen’s Red Sea ports. Vessels at anchor, operating in restricted maneuvering environments, or proceeding at slow speeds should be especially vigilant. U.S. flagged commercial vessels transiting the region should conduct a pre-voyage risk assessment and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans. Additional U.S. Coast Guard information may be found in Port Security Advisory 3-17 at: http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/International-Domestic-Port-Assessment.
4. U.S. flagged commercial vessels in the region should operate under a heightened state of alert due to the potential for direct or collateral damage. These threats may come from a variety of different sources including, but not limited to, missiles, projectiles, mines, small arms, or waterborne improvised explosive devices. Vessels in this region should report hostile activities immediately and contact coalition naval forces on VHF Channel 16. U.S. flagged commercial vessels should also make contact in advance with the U.S. Fifth Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) detachment via the Fifth Fleet Battle Watch Captain at phone: +011 973 1785 3879 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Suspicious activities and events are also required to be reported by U.S. flagged commercial vessels to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center in accordance with 33 CFR Part 101.305. 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.
5. Mariners operating near this area are also advised to consult the Department of State Travel Advisories at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html. Transit by yachts and privately owned sailing vessels through the region is also extremely hazardous and may result in capture. The U.S. Coast Guard advises against all operation of yacht and pleasure craft in these areas. Vessels that make this passage despite this advisory should make contact in advance with NCAGS via the Fifth Fleet Battle Watch Captain at phone: +011 973 1785 3879. American citizens abroad 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: https://step.state.gov/step/. Yachting guidance can be found at: http://www.mschoa.org/on-shore/home.
6. A Ship Hostile Action Report (SHAR) should 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 vessel/boats). Reference NGA Pub 117 http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/NAV_PUBS/RNA/Pub117bk.pdf for further guidance.
7. Contact Information: For further information, contact MARADSecurity@dot.gov.
8. Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message cancels U.S Maritime Advisory 2017-002.
9. This Advisory will automatically expire on July 20, 2018.