Vessels advised to exercise caution

Published on September 6th, 2022

The world is a big place and there are plenty of places not enduring military combat operations. We prefer those places, but if your adventures take you to the Black Sea or Sea of Azov, here’s a U.S. Maritime Advisory to consider:

Since Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine in late February, there have been reports of multiple commercial vessels being struck by projectiles and/or experiencing explosions in Ukrainian ports, and in the Northwestern Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine.

There have also been reports of naval mines, both moored and drifting, in many areas of the Black Sea. There is a high risk of damage to U.S.-flagged commercial vessels in this region.

U.S. flagged commercial vessels should avoid entering or approaching the Sea of Azov, Ukrainian ports, or Ukrainian territorial waters in the Northwestern Black Sea unless participating in the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Vessels operating near these areas are advised to exercise caution; conduct a risk assessment; review security measures; review current NATO Shipping Center, NAVAREA III and other local 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), in keeping with provisions of the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and monitor VHF Channel 16.

essels participating in the UN lack Sea Grain Initiative should follow the procedures posted on the Joint Coordination Center website.

In the event of any incident or suspicious activity, U.S. flagged commercial vessels should immediately notify the NATO Shipping Center and activate the Ship Security Alert System.

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