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Security notice: Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region

SSM Roundel

Steamship Mutual

Published: December 19, 2023

With the nearly daily attacks on vessels in the Southern Red Sea (SRS) and Gulf of Aden (GoA) Intertanko published the below statement, and, together with other Industry bodies, have developed the attached guidance.  Members are advised to follow this and other best industry practice in ensuring the safety of their crews and vessels.

Red Sea

“The Houthis have not changed their statements on who their targets are, however, multiple ships with no immediate affiliation with Israel or Israeli nationals, nor having any links with the conflict in Yemen, have been attacked. Therefore, the definition of links to Israel is evidently extremely broad, and attacks to date strongly suggest that shipowners and operators should be aware of potential collateral damage when transiting the affected area.

Strikes have mostly taken place during daylight, but one ship was hit by a missile at midnight local time. 

Ships have been attacked both with AIS switched on and switched off. Switching off AIS makes it marginally more difficult to track a ship but may also hinder the ability of the military to provide support or direct contact in the event of an attack.

Boardings and attempted boarding have taken place both in the SRS and in the GoA. The use of citadels has prevented the takeover of at least one ship. 

  • For ships in transit through the area, INTERTANKO offers the following advice:
  • Undertake a ship and voyage specific risk assessment
  • Identify a safer area (usually the central stairwell) above the waterline to be used in the event of an attack from loitering munitions (LMs)
  • Undertake a drill prior to entry to reinforce the use of this area including the use of a citadel
  • Keep the AIS on
  • Comply with the advice in the BMP5 as far as possible
  • If hailed by a naval vessel, follow the IMSC bridge cards
  • Use the Maritime Security Transit Corridor
  • In the event of any incident, suspicious activity, or concern:  
    • Report any suspicious activity or concerns to the UKMTO at [email protected]  +44 2392 22206
    • If under attack, please contact US Naval Forces in Bahrain directly on +973 1785 3879”

Should you have any questions about this, or other matters impacting the safety and security of your vessels please contact the Loss Prevention department or  your regular contacts within the Club.

PDF Available


Interim Industry Guidance SRS GOA December 15 2023

15 December 2023

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