Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab al Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, and Somali Basin
Heightened regional tensions in the above-listed areas, caused by an array of geopolitical issues, could result in an increased threat level to commercial vessels, as noted in Maritime Alert 2023-001A.
U.S. flagged commercial vessels operating in these waters are advised to exercise caution, review security measures, and ensure AIS is transmitting at all times (except in extraordinary circumstances), in accordance with provisions of the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and monitor VHF Channel 16.
Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February of 2022, there have been reports of multiple commercial vessels being struck by projectiles and/or experiencing explosions in Ukrainian ports, and in the Northwestern Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine.
There have also been reports of naval mines, both moored and drifting, in the Black Sea.
There is a high risk of damage to U.S.-flagged vessels in this region.
U.S. flagged commercial vessels should avoid entering or approaching the Sea of Azov, Ukrainian ports, or Ukrainian territorial waters in the Northwestern Black Sea unless participating in the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Vessels operating near these areas are advised to exercise caution; conduct a risk assessment; review security measures; review current NATO Shipping Center, NAVAREA III and other local broadcast warnings; and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans.
Vessels should ensure AIS is transmitting at all times (except when the master believes that continuing to operate AIS might compromise the safety or security of the ship), in keeping with provisions of the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and monitor VHF Channel 16.