AY Travel Advisory: To yachts entering
the pirate infested Arabian Sea & Indian Ocean - Don't go!
to April are the months when most cruising sailors are going east to west
across the Indian Ocean and set out to transit the pirate infested Gulf
of Aden. At this time of year the NE tradewind in the North Indian Ocean
are favorable and a boat will reach the Mediterranean just in time for
the European Spring. Between August to November during the SW trades is
when yachts are likely to make the return journey from west to east. As
this area has become notoriously famous for pirate attacks, a security
corridor International Recommended
Transit Corridor (IRTC) was established
back in 2009 and boats were advised to travel in convoys.
New coordinates (See Map & details below) came into effect on 0001Z
01 FEB 09
March 2011 - WARNING TO: U.S. Registered Yachts and Sailing Vessels
The U.S. Coast Guard strongly advises against all operation of and travel
by U.S. yachts and sailing craft, or by U.S. citizens on foreign registered
yachts and sailing craft, on the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Somali Basin
and the western parts of the Indian Ocean. While some of the US Navy got
called away during the recent disturbance in Egypt and now standing off
Libya, a U.S. registered sailing vessel was hijacked by pirates in February
2011 off the southern coast of Oman in the northern Arabian Sea and all
of its crew were tragically killed. This case is a stark reminder of the
grave dangers of operating in these high risk waters, especially by recreational
mariners already in these waters are urged to register with the Maritime
Security Centre (Horn of Africa) for up to date advice and
guidance on passage round the Horn of Africa. They should also report
regularly to the UKMTO (Email: email@example.com
Tel: +971 50 552 3215), giving location, course and speed, and plan their
routing carefully to reduce the risk of an attack.
Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and the northwest Indian
Ocean and has occurred in excess of 1000 nautical miles from the coast
of Somalia. Up-to-date information about attacks and pirated vessels can
be referenced from the EU
Naval Force Somalia web site. Sailing vessels are particularly
vulnerable to attack due to their low speed and low freeboard. All mariners
intending to sail through high risk areas should reconsider the necessity
of their travel and alternatives, such as transporting the vessel by yacht
OF SEIZED VESSELS AND CREWS IN SOMALIA, THE GULF OF ADEN AND THE INDIAN
As per 07 March 2011, 20h30 UTC, at least 49 foreign vessels plus two
barges are kept in Somali hands against the will of their owners, while
at least 784 hostages or captives - including a South-African yachting
couple as well as a Danish yacht-family with children - suffer to be released.
But even EU NAVFOR, who mostly only counts high-value, often British insured
vessels, admitted now that many dozens of vessels were sea-jacked despite
their multi-million Euro efforts to protect shipping. Having come under
pressure, EU NAVFOR's operation ATALANTA felt now compelled to publish
their updated piracy facts for those vessels, which EU NAVFOR admits had
not been protected from pirates and were abducted. EU NAVFOR also admitted
in February 2011 for the first time that actually a larger number of vessels
and crews is held hostage than those listed on their file. Since EU NAVFOR's
inception at the end of 2008 the piracy off Somalia started in earnest
and it has now completely escalated. Only knowledgeable analysts recognized
in yacht races and rallies in these high risk areas are at great risk
of attack. These events are often publicized and could draw attention
from pirates, despite the security and safety measures that might be put
in place. The U.S. Coast Guard strongly advises mariners not to participate
in events that will require transit through high risk waters.
Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO) in Dubai is the primary
point of contact for liaison with military forces in the region. Email
at firstname.lastname@example.org to join
their voluntary reporting scheme, Tel: +971 50 552 3215, Telex: (51) 210473.
Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) is manned 24/7 by military
and merchant navy personnel from various countries and coordinates with
military maritime forces in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It
is the commercial/civilian link with the EU Naval Force Somalia. Tel:
+44 1923 958545, Fax: +44 1923 958 520, Email: email@example.com
Shipping Centre (NSC) is the commercial/civilian link with
the NATO maritime force. Tel: +44 1923 956 574, Fax: +44 1923 956 575,
Liaison Office (MARLO) US Navy Bahrain, is a secondary point
of contact after UKMTO and MSCHOA, but is manned 24/7. Tel: +973 3940
ISAF issue warning on Pirate Zone
In view of the recent escalation in piratical attacks in the area of the
Gulf of Aden, Yemeni and Somali, and the consequent very high risk, the
essential advice is not to enter this area. However a yacht which, despite
this advice, decides on such a passage is recommended to make contact
in advance with the naval authorities and will find in the document basic
guidance for her transit.
Sailing Federation (ISAF) warning on Pirate Zone. The Guidelines
are a joint production of MSC(HOA) and ISAF under the auspices of the
ISAF International Regulations Commission. The Commission has been established
and appointed by the ISAF Executive Committee in accordance with Regulation
41 to provide advice on matters related to the regulation of recreational
boats or craft by government actions or otherwise. In response to these
warnings the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recently updated
and re-issued its guidelines to yachts contemplating making a passage
through the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin. Click
here to download a copy of the ISAF
can read ISAF full set of updated guidelines Click
of Aden Pirate Corridor Waypoints -
New coordinates in effect
an incredible standoff during 2008, just off the Somalian coastline, no
less than six American warships were circling the hijacked Ukrainian freighter
the MV Faina, laden with a cargo of 33 tanks, small arms and ammunition
and bound for southern Sudan. The ransom started at $20m, but latter reports
suggest that about $5m was paid for its release. The pirates have declared
they will fight to the death.
is just the latest and most dramatic of over 50 serious attacks on ships
in this region during the past year. Two yachts were seized, each rescued
in dramatic circumstances by French commandos. However, normally huge
ransoms are paid for the big ships, and this has exacerbated the situation.
Up to twelve ships were held as hostages, with ransom demands pending.
It seems that the entire economy has been privatized by the overlapping
criminal enterprises whose business is the smuggling of weapons and people,
obtaining 'taxes' and protection fees from the foreign fishing boats that
ply Somalia's waters, and preying on the yachts and cargo vessels that
sail off its coast.
making the passage, are recommended to contact the MARLO
(Maritime Liaison Office) in Bahrain for further advice on
Tel: +00-973-3940-1395 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For full information on transiting the Gulf of Aden pirate zone, click
yachts are opting to hug the Yemeni shore, within the range of the Coastguard
there, hoping that the existence of the coastguard will deter Somali pirates
from an approach. The issue with this method is that one has to be wary
of the coastline, and navigation is therefore made more difficult.
Corridor in Gulf of
Aden officially named International
Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) New coordinates
in effect 0001Z 01 FEB 09
of the IRTC corridor through the Gulf of Aden:
Details on the updated IRTC. http://www.cusnc.navy.mil/marlo/Guidance/Corridor.htm
IRTC EAST BOUND LANE BEGINS AT 045 EAST BETWEEN 11 48 NORTH AND 11 53
NORTH. THE LANE IS ORIENTED ALONG A STRAIGHT LINE COURSE OF 072 DEGREES
AND TERMINATES AT 053 DEGREES EAST BETWEEN 14 18 NORTH AND 14 23 NORTH.
THE IRTC WEST BOUND LANE BEGINS AT 053 DEGREES EAST BETWEEN 14 25 NORTH
AND 14 30 NORTH. THE LANE IS ORIENTED ALONG A STRAIGHT LINE COURSE OF
252 AND TERMINATES AT 045 DEGREES EAST BETWEEN 11 55 NORTH AND 12 00 NORTH.
- Prior to transit,
all ships should register with the EU ATALANTA Task Force at http://www.mschoa.eu/
and view the group transit plan. Yachts should establish contact with
UKMTO or MARLO for the latest guidance and forming convoys well in advance
before reaching the Gulf. High risk vessels can requests escorts with
- During transit,
most commercial vessels should use the IRTC and all should send position
reports every 4 hours to MARLO at email@example.com
and UKMTO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the Gulf of
Aden, it is recommended that Automatic Identification System (AIS) is
turned on, but only transmit callsign and Maritime Mobile Service Identity
(MMSI) number. AIS should be turned off when sailing off the east coast
- In case of emergency,
call UKMTO (primary) +971 50 552 3215 or MARLO (secondary) at +973 3940
1395 for coalition assistance. These numbers are manned 24 hrs/7 days
- In general, keep
a vigilant watch when transiting high risk areas. If approached, increase
speed and maneuver aggressively. DO NOT
- Contact Information:
UKMTO: email@example.com, +971 50 552 3215
+973 3940 1395
+44 (0) 1923 95854
The Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) mission is to facilitate the exchange
of information between the United States Navy, Combined Maritime Forces,
and the commercial maritime community in the United States Central Command's
(CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility. MARLO operates as a conduit for information
focused on the safety and security of shipping and is committed to assisting
all members of the commercial maritime community. There
liaison officers travel regularly throughout the Gulf and East Africa
to foster communication, stay apprised of changes in local port infrastructure
and management, and to proactively address your concerns and questions.
We remain, first and foremost, an active advocate for commercial mariners.
We remain dedicated to providing accurate and timely information on safety
of shipping and marine navigation.
MARLO's support to the commercial maritime community currently spans 27
nations that stretch from the Horn of Africa through the Arabian Gulf
region, into Central Asia.
This MARAD advisory provides suggested waypoints for commercial vessels
to transit the Gulf of Aden.
Marlo Bahrain sent a message on 25th August which stated that the Commander,
U.S. Naval Central Command has directed the establishment of a Maritime
Security Patrol Area (MSPA) in the Gulf of Aden.
FURTHERMORE, A force of Coalition Navy warships will patrol the AREA,
and aircraft will fly in the airspace above. Commodore Bob Davidson (Canadian
Navy), commander Combined Task Force 150, will command naval forces in
the patrol area. The MSPA is being established in support of the
International Maritime Organization's (IMO) ongoing efforts. Coalition
actions will give the IMO time to work international preventative efforts
that will ultimately lead to a long-term solution. Coalition ships are
in the area as part of our continual presence in this region. While they
have conducted routine operations in the area in the past, the establishment
of the MSPA will focus the efforts to counter destabilizing activities
in the region and improve security while long-term initiatives mature.
Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) Bahrain
Core Working Hours: Sunday - Thursday 0800-1700
Daytime Tel: +973-17-85-3925 Fax: +973-17-85-3930 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Maritime Liaison Office, Box 116, Manama, Bahrain
Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (Co.
A 308 PD Perdana Condo Resort, Jln Pantai, 71050, Pt Dickson, Malaysia
Tel: 6 06 6477701 Email: email@example.com
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