The USCG says it has started to track the Japanese fishing trawler RYOU-UN MARU, aka the Tsunami Ghost Ship, after the weathered vessel drifted into U.S. waters over the weekend. The fishing vessel has been drifting unmanned at sea since the March 2011 Fukoshima earthquake and tsunami.
As gCaptain reported earlier, the derelict vessel was first spotted in mid-March by the Canadian coast guard off the coast of British Columbia but ocean currents have since taken her approximately 180 miles west of the Dixon Entrance in Southeast Alaska, posing a navigational hazard for busy shipping lanes in the area.
To track the ship, the USCG been conducting flyovers of the vessel since Saturday and have also deployed a data marker buoy into the water near the vessel to provide real time updates of its location.
“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.”
Where the vessel is headed now is not exactly up to us mortals, rather the spirits that have already piloted her across Pacific. One thing is for sure however: wherever she goes, the USCG will be watching it.
Buoy Drop Video[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNTD8FFp5yE[/youtube]