Friday, April 06, 2012

Coast Guard Sinks Ghost Ship

U.S.C.G. sinks unmanned 164-ft fishing vessel set adrift by tsunami over a year ago...

Ryou-Un Maru on April 4, 2012. U.S.C.G. photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.


Set Adrift
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Japanese fishing vessel RYOU-UN MARU was sighted by the Canadian coast guard more than a week ago in Canadian waters. The vessel drifted into U.S. waters last Saturday near Southeast Alaska. The fishing vessel has been drifting unmanned at sea, presumably since the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami which occurred in March of 2011.

Ghost Ship Is A Potential Threat
Earlier this week, the Coast Guard was still assessing the situation, but you could see where it was going. “The unlit and unmanned vessel, which was originally being monitored by Canadian authorities, is now drifting through high traffic shipping lanes in U.S. waters and has become a potential threat to mariners,” said Capt. Daniel Travers, D17 chief of incident management. "We are tracking the vessel and working with federal, state and local agencies to ensure the safety of the maritime transportation system and the marine environment.”

Eliminating The Threat
By Thursday, after another vessel was far enough away from the scene, the Coast Guard began its action to eliminate the threat. Looks like they also got in some good target practice. In the first picture below, the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa crew fires explosive ammunition at the Ryou-Un Maru 180 miles west of the Southeast Alaskan coast. In the 2nd picture below, the adrift Japanese fishing vessel shows significant signs of damage.

The derelict fishing vessel sank at 6:15 p.m. on April 5, 2012 in 6,000 feet of water.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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