03 September 2014

[030914.EN.SEA] NATO Warships To Patrol Mediterranean To Prevent Terrorist Attacks

THE US Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued an advisory to ships operating in the Mediterranean that NATO warships are patrolling and vessels might be boarded.

Under Operation Active Endeavor (OAE) NATO ships are monitoring shipping to counter terrorist activity.

The operation, carried out under Article 5 of the NATO Charter and consistent with international law, evolved out of NATO's immediate response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of September 11, 2001.

"Under OAE NATO ships hail vessels and request identification and other information. Boarding of vessels may be requested, and is carried out only with the consent of the master and/or the flag state," the advisory said.

"Non-compliant vessels are reported to appropriate law enforcement organisations and shadowed until action is taken by a responsible agency/authority or until it enters a country's territorial sea.

"US-flag vessels hailed by NATO warships under OAE should cooperate to the extent possible without jeopardising the safety and security of the vessel, crew, or cargo," said the MARAD release.

"In the event the vessel cannot fully cooperate with OAE, provide the hailing warship the vessel name, IMO number and company security officer contact information, and report the circumstances immediately to the company security officer," said the statement.

Source : HKSG.

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