Somali Pirates Marauding Even Farther From Shore

| Thu Jun. 11, 2009 1:16 PM EDT

Hungry for some pirate news? Who isn't? The latest is that Somalia's ocean-going scourge is increasing its reach into new areas, threatening vessels even farther from shore. Their so-called "mother ships" essentially act as floating bases, enabling pirates to stay at sea longer. But on the bright side for mariners, monsoon season is almost here, so we can expect pirate attacks to subside, at least temporarily. From allAfrica.com:

Somali pirates are extending their activities further out from the Somali coast, beyond the Seychelles in the east and to the Red Sea in the north, warns an international naval task force.

The force has urged mariners to take advantage of the monsoon season about to  begin, which will hinder pirates' activities until September.

In a special advisory issued to shipping Wednesday, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) of a number of Western powers noted that most attacks on ships in the past two years have taken place during daylight hours in the Gulf of Aden.

"However, recently pirates have attacked vessels at night and have conducted attacks far off the eastern coast of Somalia," the CMF said. Using "mother ships" as staging platforms, they are able to operate much further from the Somali coast than before.

The force also said a confirmed pirate attack in the southern Red Sea created "a new area of potential risk."