Page last updated at 23:27 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Navy patrols may extend as Somali pirates widen attacks

By Nick Childs
BBC defence and security correspondent

Pirate (file photo)
Somali pirates have attacked ships away from the African coast

The British admiral in charge of the EU flotilla carrying out anti-piracy patrols off Somalia is considering extending the area which they patrol.

Rear Adm Peter Hudson said this was because some attacks had been closer to India than the coast of Africa.

The EU Naval Force is one of the main international formations trying to counter piracy off Somalia.

These forces insist they have reduced the number of successful attacks, but they have not eliminated them.

And the pirates have adapted.


Rear Adm Hudson says he is in discussions with his political and military bosses to extend his patrol area because the pirates have been launching attacks at ever great range - up to 1,000 nautical miles from the Somali coast.

"I have to keep the balance between area, where my aircraft can go, what advice we give to ships, where the pirates operate," he said.

Rear Adm Peter Hudson
Rear Adm Peter Hudson says he needs to seek a balance

"It's a constant little equation that we're looking at.

"And because we've seen some of these attacks now right nearer to India than Africa, we just have to review where our operating area is and we'll make recommendations to Brussels and see what they think."

Rear Adm Hudson says support from EU countries has been good, including the provision of vital maritime patrol aircraft for surveillance.

But he has, on average, six to seven warships under his command, to cover a sea area already 10 times the size of Germany.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific