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MSCI Advisory

2018-010-Sulu and Celebes Seas-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Terrorism


This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2018-003

  1. Reference: U.S. Maritime Alert 2018-006A
  2. Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2018-003 and will automatically expire on January 19, 2019.
  3. Contact Information: For any questions about this advisory, contact Supplemental information may also be found on the MARAD Office of Maritime Security website at . ReCAAP Focal Points Contact Info is available at
  4. All suspicious activities and events must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 800-424-8802 in accordance with 33 CFR 101.305.
  5. Mariners operating in or near these areas are also advised to consult the Department of State Travel Warnings at
  6. Guidance: The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia’s (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Center advises all ships to avoid anchoring outside port limit areas and to exercise enhanced vigilance, maintain strict look-outs (particularly during hours of darkness), and report all incidents to the relevant authorities immediately. Additional information threats in this region, including specific recommendations for vessels transiting the area, are available on the ReCAAP website at
  7. Issue: Piracy/Armed Robbery/Terrorism in the Sulu and Celebes Seas. U.S. flagged vessels are advised to remain vigilant and adhere to the counter-piracy annex of their approved Vessel Security Plan when transiting the Sulu and Celebes Seas, in light of recent boardings and kidnappings for ransom that have taken place in those areas. To date in 2018, there have been at least 15 reported boardings, attempted boardings, attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings in the Sulu and Celebes Seas. All recent kidnapping incidents in this area were reportedly linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a violent Islamic separatist group operating in the southern Philippines. Specific case details are available at the Office of Naval Intelligence’s “Worldwide Threat to Shipping” and “Piracy Analysis and Warnings” website at