The US MARAD issued an advisory on December 14 concerning vessels operating in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, warning that Yemen remains a risk for commercial vessels.
Specifically, US MARAD warns that the risks arising for commercial vessels sailing through Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean include missiles, rockets, projectiles, mines, small arms, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned surface vessels, or waterborne improvised explosive devices, as the conflict in Yemen continues.
In addition, they highlight that piracy poses another risk in the Gulf of Aden, Western Arabian Sea, and Western Indian Ocean.
Therefore, following the risks and threats explained above, MARAD advises vessels operating in this area to review security measures, ensure AIS is transmitting at all times, and monitor VHF Channel 16. The Gard P&I Club also sums up additional guidance for ships in the region:
- Conduct a pre-voyage risk assessment and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans. Take advice from available industry guidances such as the BMP5.
- Avoid entering or loitering near Yemen’s ports, and exercise increased caution if entering Yemen’s territorial waters or Saudi territorial waters north of Yemen on the Red Sea.
- Be especially vigilant when at anchor, operating in restricted maneuvering environments, or proceeding at slow speeds.
- Establish and remain in contact with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Office (UKMTO) as per the BMP5. Immediately report any incident or suspicious incident.
- Answer all VHF calls from coalition navies.
Similarly, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) encourages Masters and shipowners to register and report their vessels as per the BMP5 procedures and ensure that their vessel is hardened prior to entering the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden/Somalia/Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean high-risk area. While transiting through these waters it is essential to maintain a 24-hour visual and radar watch.