Maritime Administration Warns of Likely Increase in Piracy

Sep 9 2009

The Maritime Administration today issued an advisory to mariners and ship operators that piracy is likely to increase off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean now that monsoon season has ended.

“We must apply the lessons learned from the crew of the Maersk Alabama,” said Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda, referring to the U.S. crew that escaped pirates last spring. “We are urging mariners to take defensive measures and not surrender at the first sign of a threat.”

The advisory not only warns vessels to avoid routes where attacks have taken place, but also recommends that mariners “demonstrate a willingness to defend yourself.” Today’s update encourages mariners to travel at “maximum sustainable speed” through “high threat areas” and to continually conduct risk assessments during their voyage. The advisory also gives mariners information on how best to check in with authorities and how to request escort service in a convoy.

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration routinely issues advisories, which usually warn of possible hazards and inform ships at sea of the measures they can take to avert danger. The text of the advisory can be found at the Maritime Administration web site, www.marad.dot.gov. In addition to posting on the website, advisories are broadcast by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to all U.S. flag ships and to other maritime interests.

(source: Maritime Administration)