Vessels operating in or near the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman
The Maritime Administration of the Marshall Islands issued an advisory concerning vessels operating in or near the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. The note highlights that many are the countries that conduct naval exercises and operations in these areas. Thus, this advisory supplements information and navigation warnings routinely provided by other sources.
Specifically, the Administration states that in the possibility that a vessel is hailed by non-coalition naval forces, RMI flagged commercial vessels navigating these waters should provide vessel name, flag State, and affirm that they are exercising navigation rights in accordance with international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In addition, if non coalition naval forces seek to board an RMI flagged commercial vessel navigating these waters, the ship’s Master should, if the safety of the ship and crew would not be compromised, decline permission to board by noting that the vessel is exercising navigation rights in accordance with international law.
If non-coalition naval forces attempt to board an RMI flagged commercial vessel, the crew should immediately contact the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet Battle Watch. The crew should not forcibly resist the boarding party. Refraining from forcible resistance in no way indicates consent or agreement that such a boarding is consistent with international law.
All vessels should be aware that coalition naval forces may conduct maritime awareness calls, queries, and approaches to ensure the safety of vessels transiting the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman.
RMI flagged commercial vessels approaching coalition naval forces are advised to maintain radio contact on Very High Frequency (VHF) Channel 16.