I can’t really improve on the title of this piece:
Reports that a ghost ship brimming with diseased rats is about to plough into the Westcountry’s coastline have been rubbished by the coastguard.
The abandoned Lyubov Orlova has been missing since it cut adrift while being towed from Canada nearly a year ago.
However, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) dismissed the reports.
A spokesman said: “The MCA has received no sightings of the former Soviet cruise ship ‘Lyubov Orlova’ since April last year and there is no evidence to suggest it is still afloat.
“Any ‘ghost’ ship entering European waters is highly likely to be reported due to the large number of vessels passing through the area. We would then act accordingly.”
The MCA believes the ship may have sunk, but those searching for the ship to cash in its £600,000 scrap value say sinking would have activated emergency beacons aboard the liferafts.
It officially disappeared on 4 February 2013, en route to the Dominican Republic, without power or crew. Two distress signals from the Orlova were recorded on 23 February and another on 12 March, 2013. According to the Wikipedia page, it was last spotted on 23 February 2013 1,300 nautical miles (2,400 km; 1,500 mi) off Ireland though the article above says April.
Canada is rid of it but where did it go?
Experts say the ship, which is likely to still contain hundreds of rats that have been eating each other to survive, must still be out there somewhere because not all of its lifeboat emergency beacons have been set off.
Two signals were picked up on the 12 and 23 March last year, presumably from lifeboats which fell away and hit the water, showing the vessel had made it two-thirds of the way across the Atlantic and was heading east.
A week later, an unidentified object of about the right size was spotted on radar just off the coast of Scotland – but search planes never verified the find.
Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian salvage hunter who is among a number looking for the Lyubov Orlova off the UK coastline, told The Sun: “She is floating around out there somewhere.
De Rhoodes also seems to the be the source of the “cannibal rats” quote. Is he the “experts”? It’s not clear. The source of this story appears from my view be The Sun (U.K.) They are a tabloid. Take that for what it’s worth – sensationalism. If it’s out there, they will find it eventually before it plows into something and the rats head to shore.
The head of the Irish coastguard remains vigilant.
Tip: Jeb Card