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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued an advisory to vessels sailing in waters around the Strait of Hormuz regarding hostile actions that could lead to aggressive actions.

The notice says that heightened military activity and increased political tensions in this region continue to pose serious threats to commercial vessels. Associated with these threats is a potential for miscalculation or misidentification that could lead to aggressive actions. Vessels operating in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman may encounter GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning.

MARAD has recorded six attacks against commercial vessels in the last three months, as well as shooting-down of a US Navy drone, as well as attempted interdiction of the British Heritage, seizure of Riah and Stena Impero and the detention and subsequent release of Mesdar. In at least two of these incidents, vessels reported GPS interference. Vessels have also reported spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships.

Vessels operating in this area are advised to review security measures, ensure AIS is transmitting at all times, and monitor VHF Channel 16.

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