NAIROBI, Kenya — The EU Naval Force says pirates have hijacked a cargo vessel off the coast of Yemen.

Spokesman Cmdr. John Harbour says the Monday attack took place 10 miles (15 kilometers) from Yemen against the Panama-flagged Iceberg I.

Harbour says the pirates then sailed the ship across the Gulf of Aden toward Somalia.

Harbour says the last communication from the vessel was a mayday call from the captain saying pirates were boarding the vessel. The 24 crew came from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Pirate attacks have continued to climb despite the presence of three dozen warships off the Somali coast. The area of ocean where ships are vulnerable to pirate attack is too vast to effectively patrol. (AP)