Mysterious ‘Ghost Ship’ runs aground off Myanmar coast

Dhaka, Thursday   23 May 2019

Mysterious ‘Ghost Ship’ runs aground off Myanmar coast

 International Desk

 Published: 05:15 PM, 1 September 2018   Updated: 05:23 PM, 1 September 2018

Daily Bangladesh Desk

Daily Bangladesh Desk

There is a mysterious appearance of a massive ‘Ghost Ship’ in the coast of Southern Myanmar that shocked local fishermen after finding the cargo ship has no traces of crew.

According to Myanmar Navy, the stranded vessel empty of crew and goods that were found in Myanmar this week being towed by a ship with 13 Indonesian nationals before it became unmoored.

The large, empty and rusty container vessel ‘‘Sam Ratulangi PB 1600’’, had been discovered by fishermen off Myanmar’s commercial capital.

Authorities and navy personnel had boarded the ‘‘Sam Ratulangi PB 1600’’ on Thursday to search for clues after it ran aground on a beach.

Police and observers were baffled at how such a large ship, with no sailors or goods on board, had ended up in Myanmar.

According to the Marine Traffic website, the vessel ‘‘Sam Ratulangi PB 1600’’ was built in 2001, is more than 177 meters (580 ft) long.

The ship’s location was last recorded off the coast of Taiwan in 2009, and this was the first reported instance of an abandoned ship appearing in Myanmar’s waters, according to the AFP news agency.

On Saturday, Myanmar’s navy said it suspected the ship had been towed by another ship after “two cables were found at its head”.

They later found a tugboat, called ‘Independence’, about 80km (50 miles) off Myanmar’s coast.

After questioning the 13 Indonesian crew members on board, they learned that the tugboat had been towing the vessel since August 13, and intended to take it to a factory in Bangladesh that would dismantle and salvage the ship.

However, some of the cables attached to the boat were broken due to bad weather, and they decided to abandon the ship.

The authorities are investigating more about the mysterious ‘Ghost Ship’.

Bangladesh has a large ship-breaking industry- with hundreds of old commercial vessels dismantled in Chattogram every year.