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Thursday, 23 January 2014
By Chris Richards Comments GHOST ship crewed only by CANNIBAL rats feared to be heading for Ireland
A GHOST ship crewed only by CANNIBAL rats is feared to be heading for Ireland.
The hulk of cruise ship Lyubov Orlova has been adrift in the North Atlantic for the past year after being cut loose off the coast of Canada.
But now coastguards are reportedly worried the recent storms may have driven her thousands of miles towards our own coastline.
The 300ft vessel, built 40 years ago in the Soviet Union, has nothing aboard but packs of disease-ridden rodents who are forced to prey on one another to survive.
Her current position is unknown despite several high-level searches.
Last year satellites picked up an unidentified blip off Scotland large enough to be the ship — but search planes found nothing.
As well as the authorities, salvage hunters — after the 4,250-ton vessel's £600,000 value as scrap — are scouring the seas for any trace of her.
They believe the liner is still afloat because its life-raft transmitters have not been activated.
If the ship makes landfall it is likely to be on the west coast of Ireland, Scotland or the far southern tip of England.
One searcher, Belgian Pim de Rhoodes, told The Sun: "She is floating around out there somewhere.
"There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other.
"If I get aboard I'll have to lace everywhere with poison."
Named after a Russian actress, the Lyubov Orlova carried up to 110 passengers to destinations across the globe, including the polar regions.
However, in 2010 she was impounded in Newfoundland, Canada in a row over debts and deserted by her unpaid crew.
After two years tied up in port, the decision was taken to tow her to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean where she would be scrapped.
But in heavy seas, the tow-line to a tug broke, prompting the Canadian government to send out another ship to drag her far out to sea and release her.
"There have been huge storms in recent months but it takes a lot to sink a vessel as big as that," said Irish coastguard chief Chris Reynolds.
"We must stay vigilant."
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