US issues BAM alert
US Maritime Alert issued.
Following the attack on a Saudi warship by al Houthi-Saleh rebels last week, a US Maritime Alert (2017-002A) has been issued to all vessels transiting the region.
The alert states that Masters consider increasing vigilance and maintaining the farthest possible distance from the Yemen coast where possible. The advice is to transit the Bab el-Mandeb during daylight hours using the Western TSS; this had already been a standard recommendation in the region following the incidents involving the HSV Swift 2 and a merchant ship last year.
The US government also believes that the waters surrounding the port of Mokha port – recently the scene of heavy fighting as Yemeni forces re-take the area – may have been mined by Houthi rebels, although this is unconfirmed.