Gulf of Aden & Horn of Africa: CTF 151 Liaison with the Yachting Community

April 2018: This year there are a significant number of yachts that have already, or will shortly, make the passage from the Maldives or India into the Red Sea. Counter-piracy Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151) is reaching out to the yachting community to find out if there is anything more that can be done to assist those who transit the Gulf of Aden or Horn of Africa for leisure.

Published 5 years ago, updated 4 years ago

The focus of counter-piracy operations in the region is on commercial shipping, with CTF 151 and the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Somalia, working to prevent acts of piracy at sea and protect vulnerable shipping routes.  However, not all ships have the same profile and approach to transiting the region, which means there may be a gap in coverage. As such, CTF 151, one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) operating in the Gulf of Aden, is working on developing engagement with non-commercial users of the sea. Questions are being raised as to whether there is more which could be done for those who transit the Gulf of Aden or Horn of Africa for leisure? As such, CTF 151 have contacted ‘noonsite’ an international yachting publication to gain a better understanding of the motivations and experiences of the yachts that transit this part of the world and to find out what they can do to better inform and advise transiting yachts.

A CTF 151 spokesman told noonsite; “Piracy has been suppressed in the region with few successful attacks being conducted over the last 3 years. In order to maintain this state of affairs, we need to ensure that the risks of transiting the area are still widely-understood and that the best practices for minimizing the risks of a successful attack are followed. We would like to know whether we can offer greater assistance or information to the yachting community in order to ensure that our efforts benefit all users of the maritime commons.”

If you have sailed in this part of the world or are planning a transit of the Gulf of Aden, please share your experience and suggestions with CTF 151 and noonsite. In particular, CTF 151 would like to understand mariners’ perceptions of risk in order to judge the effectiveness of the anti-piracy patrols. All feedback will assist CTF 151 in developing a suitable strategy for private yacht owners and better sharing of information to those planning a transit, enabling cruisers in the area to make a decision on which route to take through the Indian Ocean in 2018/19.

Please e-mail [email protected] with your feedback and advise if you are content for CTF 151 to contact you directly should they have further questions.

CMF would also like to remind all yachts transiting the area to report any suspicious activity to coalition warships on channel 16 and to register with the Maritime Security Centre Horn Of Africa (MSCHOA) so that progress can be monitored. This will make it easier to assist if needed. Registration is via the website at and follow the links on the right of the page for Yacht Movement, or email [email protected] to request an offline registration form.

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  1. August 8, 2018 at 6:52 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    The MSCHOA website is misleading and if you choose the “low bandwidth” option it takes you to the commercial ships registration form. I have updated the links now above to the yachting information.

    The simplest way in fact to register with MSCHOA is to email [email protected] and request an offline registration form. Put “Yacht Vessel Movement” in the subject line.

  2. August 8, 2018 at 6:52 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    I would like to point out that as a yacht with a public domain email address I cannot register with MSCHOA and my Sat Phone email adress has some strange character in it which I cannot duplicate on a keyboard. So we are unable to register with them.

  3. August 8, 2018 at 6:52 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    I transited Maldives to Seychelles June 2016. Seychelles to Zanzibar, Tanzania Nov 2016, Sailing vessel, 60 feet, solo. I used services of UKMTO, registered, daily updates, closing trip report.

    I experienced no suspicious activity en route on either passage. I was pleased with services of UKMTO and would recommend using their services to vessels making passage in the area.