In their latest Warden Message (November 19, 2008) the U.S. Consulate Guayaquil issued a piracy warning for Ecuador. In their message the U.S. Consulate General and U.S. Embassy Ecuador wishes to inform American citizens visiting or resident in Ecuador to use extreme caution when sailing near the coast of Ecuador, as there was a recent incident of armed robbery at sea off the coast of Ensenada de Pedernales, Manabi by modern day pirates. Recreational craft, merchant vessels and fishing boats all are at risk for attack by pirates. This incident highlights the continuing danger of maritime travel off the coast of Ecuador. If transit off the coast is unavoidable, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys, transit over the horizon from land, and maintain good communication at all times.
Before planning a trip at sea research anti-piracy measures. Ensure your vessel maintains an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmitter, working transponders and HF and VHF radios, use high illumination lights after dark, lock your doors to living spaces, gather information from other vessels, have personnel on watch on deck at night, increase your speed, and keep your distance from suspicious ships. A reported pirate tactic has been to issue a false distress call to lure a vessel closer into a trap; therefore caution should be taken when responding to distress calls.
The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens to ensure that standard U.S. Coast Guard required safety equipment is aboard; including life preservers are available prior to getting underway. American citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, even when on the open seas. The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulate General will continue to monitor the situation and keep American citizens apprised of any further developments.
Americans living or traveling in Ecuador are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ecuador. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. Please see the following links for local warden message information in Quito and Guayaquil.
U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Ecuador and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the Department's web site. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling +1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Quito is located at Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro. The telephone during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) is (011) 593 2 398 5000 X3800. Within the same city use the last seven digits. Add the city code for intercity telephone calls. See also the Embassy web site. American Citizen walk-in hours are between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday thruThursday, excluding U.S. and Ecuadorian holidays.
The U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil is located at the corner of Avenida 9 de Octubre and Garcia Moreno (near the Hotel Oro Verde); telephone (011) 593 4 232-3570 during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or 232-1152 for after-hours emergencies; fax (011-593-4) 232-0904. See the Consulate General web site . American Citizen walk in hours are between 12:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Thursday, excluding U.S. and Ecuadorian holidays.