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Posted: August 15, 2008

MARAD advisory on hostilities in Georgia

The Maritime Administration has issued the following advisory to all operators of U.S.-flagged and U.S.-controlled vessels, and all other maritime interests.

1. Recent outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Georgia has risen to a level where there are reports of Russian planes bombing infrastructure.

2. A travel warning issued by the Department of State on August 11, 2008, updates information on the armed conflict in South Ossetia between Georgian forces on the one hand, and Russian and separatist forces on the other.

3. On August 9, 2008, the Department of State authorized the departure from Georgia of eligible family members. The department recommends that American citizens defer non-essential travel to Georgia and that American citizens remaining in Georgia should avoid unnecessary travel within Georgia, defer all travel north of Gori and avoid all travel to the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Private Americans unable to reach Tbilisi should consider transportation available in the Batumi area.

4. The Maritime Administration advises vessel operators to check the current warning status from the Department of State, Task Force 1, telephone (202) 647-6611, or , before approaching seaports in Georgia.

5. For further information regarding this advisory, contact Mr. Doherty, Maritime Administration, Office of Security, Code: MAR-420, Room W23-312, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20590, telephone (202) 366-1883, Facsimile (202) 366-3954, TLXII 710.822.9426 (MARAD DOT WSH), or .