News

    US Coast Guard Sinks Japanese 'Ghost Ship'

    In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a plume of smoke rises from the derelict Japanese ship Ryou-Un Maru after it was hit by canon fire by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in the Gulf of Alaska, April 5, 2012.
    In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a plume of smoke rises from the derelict Japanese ship Ryou-Un Maru after it was hit by canon fire by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in the Gulf of Alaska, April 5, 2012.

    The U.S. Coast Guard has sunk an abandoned Japanese fishing boat off the coast of Alaska, more than a year after a tsunami sent it drifting aimlessly across the Pacific Ocean.

    The 50-meter long Ryou-Un Mara went down Thursday in the Gulf of Alaska, hours after a Coast Guard vessel started shooting at it, setting fire to the so-called "ghost ship," which had no lights, crew or communications system.

    The Coast Guard decided to sink the Ryou-Un Mara because it posed a significant danger to ships sailing in the area.  Officials say sinking the ship poses no risk to the environment and that any fuel on board would be evaporated by now.

    The sinking operation was delayed when a Canadian fishing boat expressed interest in salvaging the Japanese boat. The Canadian ship eventually determined it could not tow the crippled vessel.

    The Ryou-Un Mara is the largest piece of debris to drift into North American waters after last year's tsunami caused by a devastating earthquake off the Japanese coast.

     

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 3
        Next 
    by: Robert F. Dawson
    April 07, 2012 2:00 PM
    I wish someone could have helped the Canadian boat salvage it, but it might be better on the bottom as a fish haven. It looks like it still had it's anchers down. Maybe they could not lift them and needed extra wenches. It could have been cut up for scrap or with TLC, revitalized. No matter how bad it looked, the Japs usually have some decent stuff. I beg to differ on the invironmental part. I hope they got permission from the Crown.

    by: John
    April 06, 2012 4:36 PM
    Typical Cowboy Yanks!

    by: Funnybones
    April 06, 2012 4:07 PM
    Looks like a spy ship to me.

    by: Allan
    April 06, 2012 10:02 AM
    As usual, we destroyed a ship that possibly could have been scrapped . Why couldn't our Coast Guard assist the Canadians in towing this ship? Our nation is so very very destructive! To protect our environment ,I know is important.

    by: AllThatJazz
    April 06, 2012 8:53 AM
    I'm sure that the CG got lots of good training out of this.

    by: danfinger
    April 06, 2012 8:05 AM
    "Truth": "uh yeah, the fuel evaporated. That's the ticket!"

    Lieutenant Reality: "psst. Captain. We might could have a pretty good time firing our cannon at it!

    Captain Triggerfinger: "Dang Lou! That's a great idea! Tell them canucks to get lost!"

    by: Higgety Piggety
    April 06, 2012 7:37 AM
    Fuel oil in a tank does not "evaporate".

    by: ron
    April 06, 2012 7:36 AM
    I agree -- However saying the fuel evaporated sounds more like something a ding bat editor -- rather than the coast gard would say . Thinking that it made it this far on its own without a crew after a huge wave leads me to think that it probably wasent as bad as it looked . No body wanted to deal with it --- perhaps this is how the japs are getting rid of there radiactive waist filling deralict fishing boats with it and sinking them out to sea and this one got forgotten about ?

    by: Hecktor
    April 06, 2012 7:36 AM
    Ted, I am not a green activist nor do I care much for these things, but I agree, fuel does not 'evaporate' inside a fuel tank much the same way the fuel on the COSTA CONCORDIA would not have 'evaporated' had it been left alone. Also, that huge scrap of metal is thrown to the bottom of the ocean when I get fined for not recycling? BULL. Must we be lied to on EVERY occasion?

    by: tom
    April 06, 2012 7:34 AM
    sometime the cheapest solution to handle a problem is not the best one available. this just looks like a bad idea, but I'm not the coast guard hopefully they have a good reason.
    Comments page of 3
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora