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MSCI Advisory

2017-002-Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb, and Gulf of Aden-Regional Conflict and Terrorism

  1. Reference: U.S. Maritime Alert Numbers 2017-001A, 2017-002A, and 2017-002B, available at
  2. Issue: Continued regional tensions in Yemen have increased the risks to U.S.-flagged commercial vessels transiting the Southern Red Sea. The Houthi rebels have conducted attacks against a Saudi warship and UAE logistics vessels, as well as an attempted but failed attack against U.S. Navy ships in the southern Red Sea. There has been increased fighting along the Red Sea coast and there is a risk that U.S.-flagged commercial vessels operating in the area could be associated with anti-Houthi operations, or otherwise at risk. U.S. flagged vessels operating in this vicinity should exercise extreme caution.
  3. Guidance: It is recommended that U.S. flagged commercial vessels avoid entering or loitering near Yemen’s Red Sea ports, and that vessels at anchor, operating in restricted maneuvering environments or at slow speeds, be especially vigilant. U.S. flagged commercial vessels transiting the region should conduct a pre-voyage risk assessment and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans. U.S. Coast Guard information may be found at:
  4. U.S. flagged commercial vessels in the region should operate under a heightened state of alert due to the potential for direct or collateral damage. These threats may come from a variety of different sources including, but not limited to, missiles, projectiles, mines, small arms, or waterborne improvised explosive devices. Vessels in this region should report hostile activities immediately and contact coalition naval forces on VHF Channel 16. U.S. flagged commercial vessels should also make contact in advance with the U.S. Fifth Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) detachment at phone: +011 973 1785 3879 or email: Suspicious activities and events are also required to be reported by U.S. flag commercial vessels to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center in accordance with 33 CFR Part 101.305. Vessels operating in this region are also advised to establish contact with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Office (UKMTO). UKMTO advisories, warnings, and contact info are available at
  5. Transit by yachts and privately owned sailing vessels through the region is also extremely hazardous and may result in capture. The U.S. Coast Guard advises against all operation of yacht and pleasure craft in these areas. Vessels that make this passage despite this advisory should make contact in advance with NCAGS via phone: +011 973 1785 3879. American citizens abroad should inform the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of their plans to transit the area and/or update their information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at: Yachting guidance can be found at:
  6. A Ship Hostile Action Report (SHAR) should be sent to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) at: as soon as possible following an incident or suspected activity (including apparent surveillance being conducted by small vessel/boats). Reference NGA Pub 117 for further guidance.
  7. Contact Information: For further information, contact
  8. Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message cancels legacy Special Warning 134 (Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden), legacy MARAD Advisories 2005-001 (Threat Info and Maritime Industry Reporting of Suspected/Actual Terrorist Incidents), 2010-006 (Guidance to Vessels Transiting High Risk Waters – Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Horn of Africa).
  9. This Advisory will automatically expire on September 24, 2017.