NATO warns of civilian shipping risk in Black Sea

(NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom) — The risk of collateral damage or direct hits on civilian shipping in the northwestern Black Sea area are considered very high. There are strong indicators that the intensity of military operations along the Ukrainian Black Sea coastline and in the Gulf of Odessa are increasing.

The risk of GPS jamming, automatic identification system (AIS) spoofing, communications jamming, electronic interference and cyberattacks in the area are considered high. Harassment and diversion of shipping in the area cannot be excluded.

A large number of navigation warnings have been issued by NAVAREA Coordinator III (responsible for broadcasting NAVAREA warnings on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov), covering a number of warning areas, including mine danger areas (NAVAREA III 0092/22, Black Sea).

Spanish Hydrographic Office map

The latest list of NAVWARNS in force can be found here.

Vessels must ensure the AIS is always transmitting (except when the master believes that continuing to operate AIS might compromise the safety or security of the ship or when a security incident is imminent), consistent with provisions of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and monitor VHF Channel 16.

In order to avoid an accidental engagement, it is recommended to maintain an AIS signal containing basic identification information. Please report any incident to the NATO Shipping Center:

– NATO Shipping Center

By Rich Miller