The U.S. Maritime Administration has issued an advisory warning that continued regional tensions in Yemen have increased the risks to U.S.-flagged commercial vessels transiting the Southern Red Sea.
"The Houthi rebels have conducted attacks against a Saudi warship and UAE logistics vessels, as well as an attempted but failed attack against U.S. Navy ships in the southern Red Sea," says the advisory. "There has been increased fighting along the Red Sea coast and there is a risk that U.S.-flagged commercial vessels operating in the area could be associated with anti-Houthi operations, or otherwise at risk. U.S. flagged vessels operating in this vicinity should exercise extreme caution."
The advisory recommends that U.S. flagged commercial vessels avoid entering or loitering near Yemen's Red Sea ports, and that vessels at anchor, operating in restricted maneuvering environments or at slow speeds, be especially vigilant. Vessels transiting the region should conduct a pre-voyage risk assessment and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans. U.S. flagged commercial vessels in the region should operate under a heightened state of alert due to the potential for direct or collateral damage.
Transit by yachts and privately owned sailing vessels through the region is also extremely hazardous and may result in capture. The U.S. Coast Guard advises against all operation of yacht and pleasure craft in these areas.