Ship! Rats!

I can’t really improve on the title of this piece:

Ghost ship full of cannibal rats could be about to crash into Devon coast | Plymouth Herald.

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

  11 comments for “Ship! Rats!

  1. January 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    By now, there might just be two rats left. They could be called Bond and Silva.

    If a boatload of cannibal rats ran aground, wouldn’t you only need to worry if you were also a rat?

  2. January 23, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    If there were rats on board, they would have resorted to eating each other. But there may not have been any since the ship wasn’t being used for a period of time. I think they’re getting this idea from the Bond movie Skyfall.

  3. Irritated Kalifornian
    January 23, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Why would they be diseased? Rats always get a bad rap.

  4. skeptictmac57
    January 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Blame it on Jimmy Cagney.

  5. BobM
    January 23, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    The ship “full of” cannibal rats is something of a contradiction in terms – assuming it’s been out there for months. 🙂 Still, a few hundred extra diseased rats on the shores of Britain will raise the number of diseased rats by a huge percentage I imagine :-).

  6. January 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    May I recommend the classic ‘Three Skeleton Key’ which can be found on the Internet Digital Archive.

  7. Frank
    January 24, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Pim de Rhoodes lives in Antwerp, Belgium, but his nationality is Dutch.

  8. Frans
    January 25, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    Pim de Rhoodes lives in Antwerp but is not a Belgian. He is has the Dutch nationality.

  9. Angela
    January 25, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    I have been hearing South Park’s “Blame Canada” ever since I saw this…(not blaming Canada…just my weird humor).

  10. Lagaya1
    January 25, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Only if the rats are using contraceptives.

  11. John Nowak
    January 27, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Seconded. Especially if you can find the Vincent Price version.

Comments are closed.