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Friday, June 21, 2019 

Norwegian insurer Gard has advised its members with operations in the Gulf of Oman/Strait of Hormuz to exercise “extreme caution” following the heightened level of security in the region.

Gard recommends ship operators and vessel masters to:

  • Follow the relevant guidance provided by BMP5 and the Global Counter Piracy Guidance;
  • Undertake a new ship and voyage specific threat risk assessment before entering any region where there has been an incident, or the threat level has changed, and review the Ship’s Security Plan; and
  • Stay in close contact with ship’s agent and other local sources to obtain the most up to date and reliable information available at any given time.

Some Flag Administrations may require ships implement additional protective measures in accordance with the formal Ship Security Plan (SSP).

As an example, the Norwegian Maritime Authorities on 13 June 2019 instructed Norwegian ships arriving Strait of Hormuz within the boundaries of N25° - N28° and E054° - E058° to implement security measures as described in their SSP according to ISPS/MarSec level #2.

Gard advises it members to also note the additional advice provided by OCIMF and INTERTANKO, recommending that ship operators send the following guidance to ships:

  • Maintain a full and vigilant bridge watch;
  • Maintain a strict communications watch and establish communication with all vessels coming close;
  • Ensure strict boarding controls are in place.
  • Only lower accommodation gangways or ladders when necessary;
  • Rig outboard lighting where possible provided they do not interfere with keeping a safe lookout, particularly over the stern and rig/use searchlights if available;
  • Conduct visual checks of the hull;
  • Report any suspicious/irregular activity immediately to the UKMTO (+442392222060);
  • Monitor relevant VHF and other communication channels;
  • Check that all fire-fighting equipment is available for immediate use. Make sure the emergency fire pump is available if any maintenance is being undertaken;
  • Keep the Automatic Information System (AIS) on.

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