MARAD Advisory

TO: Operators of U.S. Flag and effective U.S. controlled vessels and other Maritime interests.

SUBJECT: Somalia Piracy

This MARAD Advisory on piracy off the coast of Somalia originated from the National Maritime Intelligence Center, Office of Naval Intelligence.

  • The National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC) advises that two more at sea merchant vessel hijackings on 18 and 20 October off the east coast of Somalia, demonstrates pirates ability to conduct at sea hijackings from as far South as Kismayo (02 S) to as far North as Eyl (08 N), and out to a distance of 170 NM.

  • All vessels are advised to remain at least 200 NM from the east coast of Somalia. All merchant vessels transiting the coast of Somalia, no matter how far offshore, should increase anti-piracy precautions and maintain a heightened state of vigilance. Pirates are reported to have used previously hijacked ships as bases for further attacks.

  • Another reported pirate tactic has been to issue a false distress call to lure a ship close inshore. Therefore, caution should be taken when responding to distress calls keeping in mind it may be a tactic to lure a vessel into a trap.

  • Victimized vessels report two to three 6 to 9 meter speedboats with 3 to 6 armed men per vessel armed with AK-47s and shoulder launched rockets, opening fire on their vessels in broad daylight in order to intimidate them into stopping.

  • To date, vessels that increase speed and take evasive maneuvers avoid boarding while those that slow down are boarded, taken to the Somalia coastline, and released after successful ransom payment, often after protracted negotiations of as much as 11 weeks.

  • For further information regarding this advisory, contact the Maritime Administration, Office of Ship Operations, Code MAR-613, Room 2122, 400 7 th Street, Washington, DC 20590; Telephone 202-336-5735, or by e-mail to OPCENTR1@DOT.GOV