The following news release was issued by the Maritime Administration on February 14.
U.S. MARITIME ADVISORY 2019-004
Threat Type: Naval Activity
Geographic Area: Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea
This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2018-012
1. Reference: None
2. Issue: Multiple countries routinely conduct naval exercises and operations in these waters. This advisory supplements information and navigation warnings routinely provided by other sources.
3. Guidance: If hailed by non-U.S. or non-coalition naval forces in this region, U.S. flag commercial vessels should provide vessel name, flag state, and affirm that they are exercising navigation rights and proceeding in accordance with international law, as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention.
a) If non-U.S. or non-coalition naval forces seek to board a U.S. flag commercial vessel navigating these waters, the ship’s Master should, if the safety of the ship and crew would not be compromised, decline permission to board by noting that the vessel is exercising navigation rights and proceeding in accordance with international law.
b) If non-U.S. or non-coalition naval forces attempt to board a U.S. flag commercial vessel, the crew should immediately contact the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet Battle Watch. The crew should not forcibly resist the boarding party. Refraining from forcible resistance in no way indicates the United States’ consent or agreement that such a boarding is consistent with international law.
c) All vessels should be aware that coalition naval forces may conduct maritime awareness calls, queries and approaches to ensure the safety of vessels transiting the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea. U.S. flag commercial vessels approaching coalition naval forces are advised to maintain radio contact on VHF Channel 16.
d) The new Maritime Global Security website at https://www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org/ offers industry issued best practices and guidance to mariners by geographic region and provides contact and subscription information for regional maritime security reporting centers. Vessels operating in this area are also advised to establish contact with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Office (UKMTO). UKMTO advisories, warnings, and contact info are available at http://www.ukmto.org/)
4. Contact Information: U.S. flag vessels are advised to report any incidents immediately to coalition naval vessels on VHF Channel 16, the 5th Fleet Battle Watch via phone at 973-1785-3879, and email details to: CUSNC.BWC@ME.NAVY.MIL. U.S. flag commercial vessels bound for the Strait of Hormuz in either direction are encouraged to contact the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) Watch at least two days prior to transit at: CUSNC.NCAGS_BW@ME.NAVY.MIL or 973-3904-9583.
5. Per 33 CFR 101.305, all suspicious activities and events must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. In this region, such activities and events should additionally be reported to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet NCAGS Watch at the email address or phone number listed above.
6. For any questions about this advisory, contact GMCC@uscg.mil. Supplemental information may also be found on the MARAD Office of Maritime Security website at: https://go.usa.gov/xUKsb.
7. Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message will automatically expire on August 14, 2019.
For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit http://www.marad.dot.gov/MSCI.
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