Where Have Ghost Ships Been Found?

April 6, 2012 by staff 

Where Have Ghost Ships Been Found?, It sank into waters more than 1,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Alaska, more than 150 miles from land.

The crew pummeled the ghost ship with high explosive ammunition and, soon after, the Ryou-Un Maru burst into flames, began to take on water and list, officials said.

A huge column of smoke could be seen over the gulf.

The Coast Guard warned mariners to stay away, and aviation authorities did the same for pilots. A Coast Guard C-130 plane crew monitored the operation.

In about four hours, the ship vanished into the water, said Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow in Juneau.

Officials decided to sink the ship, rather than risk the chance of it running aground or endangering other vessels in the busy shipping lanes between North America and Asia.

The ship had no lights or communications system and its tank was able to carry more than 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Officials, however, didn’t know how much fuel, if any, was aboard.

“It’s less risky than it would be running into shore or running into (maritime) traffic,” Mr Webb said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency studied the problem and decided it is safer to sink the ship and let the fuel evaporate in the open water.

The ship was at Hokkaido, Japan, and destined for scrapping when a magnitude-9 earthquake that struck the country in March 2011 triggered a tsunami.

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