The following advisory was issued Thursday by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd):
(WASHINGTON) — In light of current tensions and hostilities in the Eastern Mediterranean, there is an increased risk to commercial vessels operating in the region.
Vessels operating in the Eastern Mediterranean are advised to exercise caution; conduct a risk assessment; review security measures; review current NATO Shipping Center and coastal broadcast warnings; and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans. Vessels should ensure AIS is transmitting at all times (except when the master believes that continuing to operate AIS might compromise the safety or security of the ship) consistent with provisions of the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and monitor VHF Channel 16.
In the event of any incident or suspicious activity, U.S.-flagged commercial vessels should immediately notify the NATO Shipping Center (NSC), the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center (NRC) and activate the Ship Security Alert System. Request the 6th Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) detachment be copied on any incident report submitted to the NSC or NRC.
U.S.-flagged commercial vessels are encouraged to participate in the NSC’s Mediterranean Voluntary Reporting Scheme. Reporting entails contacting the NATO Shipping Center when entering or departing the Mediterranean Sea and/or departing a port in the Mediterranean Sea. The preferred reporting method is online using the “Mediterranean Reporting Scheme – Format A” link at https://shipping.nato.int/nsc
Alternatively, the forms can be downloaded, filled in, and submitted by email to the NATO Shipping Center.
In accordance with 33 CFR 101.305, all suspicious activities, breaches of security, and transportation security incident events must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center.
U.S. mariners in this area are advised to consult Department of State travel advisories at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/. All 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: https://step.state.gov/step/.
• NATO Shipping Center: email@example.com or +44 (0) 1923-956-574. NSC advisories and warnings can be found at https://shipping.nato.int/nsc.
• U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center: 1-800-424-8802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• U.S. 6th Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) Detachment; C6FNCAGS@eu.navy.mil or +39 081 568 4517.
• For maritime industry questions about this advisory, contact GMCC@uscg.mil.
• Supplemental information may also be found on the MarAd Office of Maritime Security website: https://www.maritime.dot.gov/maritime-security.
• For more information about U.S. maritime alerts and advisories, including subscription details, visit https://www.maritime.dot.gov/msci.
– U.S. Maritime Administration