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GAC Protective Services issues Suez Canal crew change advice

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suezGAC Protective Services says a maritime security alert has been issued for Egypt amid ongoing unrest in urban areas around the country.

Transits through the Suez Canal are proceeding as normal with no delays reported or schedule alterations required. However, crew embarkations and disembarkations are not currently recommended.

Vessel operators looking to change crews are advised to do so in other ports in the region, such as Aqabah (Jordan), Jiddah (Saudi Arabia) or Hudaydah (Yemen) for example.

The Egyptian military has bolstered its presence around the critical waterway and in the event of further unrest it will remain a major priority for army protection. The Canal is very likely to be protected, even in the event of a significant change in regime.

As such, political risks facing vessels transiting the waterway are not considered to be high, although in the event of a major escalation in violence shipping support staff based on the land may be forced to leave their posts, potentially leading to a disruption in communications, co-ordination and assistance. This outcome is not currently considered likely, but vessel operators are advised to monitor the situation closely nonetheless. Be prepared to alter travel plans at short notice, says GAC Protective Services.

January 31, 2011

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