Avoid the Gulf of Aden warns ISAF guidelines

The ISAF has issued advice for yachtsmen planning to transit the Gulf of Aden, including details of the coalition patrolled corridors and contacts for military planner and liaison. But its over-riding advice to yachtsmen is to avoid the area because of the risks of piracy.

You can read their guidelines here .

‘ The danger of piracy and consequent loss of life and property in the Gulf of Aden, Yemeni and the Somali waters (up to 600 miles offshore), is high,’ the guidelines state. ‘Yachts are strongly recommended to avoid the area.’

They also urge any yachts making the passage from or towards the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden ‘to register at least two weeks before entering a high risk area. Yachts coming south through the Red Sea should report well before reaching Bab al Mandeb and should register before reaching Safaga/Jeddah.’

This should be done by contacting the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa), or MSCHOA, email: postmaster@mschoa.org, Tel: 44 (0)1923 958547, 39, 35. Fax: 44 (0)1923 958520 (24 hour watch). The guidelines also contain a sample passage information form.

ISAF’s recommendation to avoid the area entirely is, however, raising eyebrows among cruisers as evidence points to statistically worse dangers of attack and piracy elsewhere.

You can read more about the subject, and some statistics relating to attacks in the Caribbean in Elaine Bunting’s blog.