“Ghost” ship likely in Davey Jones’ locker

An abandoned ship reported to be carrying cannibal rats off the Newfoundland coast has likely sunk in the North Atlantic according to a statement by the Irish coastguard.

A representative from Ireland’s Coast Guard (IRGC) said they believe the ship, the MV Lyubov Orlova, sank at some point during its crossing of the North Atlantic.  The coastguards of Ireland, Norway, Iceland and the UK have concluded that the ship must be at the bottom of the sea.

News reports surfaced last week of an abandoned ship floating in the North Atlantic containing rats that may be cannibalizing each other.

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a statement saying the MCA has received no reports of sightings since April 2013 and there is no evidence the ship is still afloat.

The final path of the MV Lyubov Orlova courtesy of Richard Fisher at ScienceDirect
The final path of the MV Lyubov Orlova courtesy of Richard Fisher at ScienceDirect

The MV Lyubov Orlova was lost while being towed to a Caribbean scrapyard from Newfoundland in Jan 2013.  The story of the Orlova became a widely reported because of allegations that cannibal rats were onboard.  

There were also suggestions that the ship was going to run aground somewhere along the British coast.  

Are the Rats Real?

Recent reports suggested that the ship was carrying hundreds of rats who had been eating each other to stay alive.  However, an NPR interview with salvage hunter, Captain Pim de Rhoodes, the man who claimed the cannibal rats were onboard, reveals that he believes the rats are long dead.

Captain de Rhoodes told NPR that the rats could only have survived a few days without food or water and since it has been a year since the ship was lost they are all probably dead.

The Captain’s latest comments bring earlier reports about the Orlova’s rodent population into question.




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