The U.S. Maritime Administration has posted the following advisory. To access it directly on the agency’s website, click HERE
U.S. MARITIME ADVISORY 2018-012
Threat Type: Naval Activity
Geographic Area: Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman
1. Reference: None
2. Issue: Heightened awareness of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. 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, U.S. flag commercial vessels navigating these waters should provide vessel name, flag state, and affirm that they are exercising navigation rights 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 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 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 and Gulf of Oman. U.S. flag commercial vessels approaching coalition naval forces are advised to maintain radio contact on VHF Channel 16.
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 Watch at least two days prior to transit at: CUSNC.NCAGS_BW@ME.NAVY.MIL. All suspicious activities and events must be reported by U.S. flag commercial vessels to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 800-424- 8802 in accordance with 33 CFR 101.305.
5. Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message will automatically expire on February 14, 2019.