Ghost ship crewed by cannibal rats could be off Irish coast following storms
A 40-year-old Yugoslavian built cruise ship full of cannibal rats may be lurking off the West Coast of Ireland.
The liner, Lyubov Orlova, has been adrift in the North Atlantic for over a year.
Those searching for the ship say there will most likely be thousands of disease-ridden rats on board, with no source of food except one another.
UK coastguards are now reportedly worried that the recent storms could have driven the unmanned vessel towards Ireland or Britain.
The 300ft boat, which was registered to a now defunct Russian company, was stranded in Newfoundland after her crew deserted over non payment.
The Lyubov Orlova was being towed to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped when 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.
Based on positions shown by emergency beacons which were activated last year the liner could hit Ireland, Scotland or southern England.
The boat’s life-raft transmitters have not been activated, leading authorities and salvage hunters to believe the 4,250 tonne vessel, worth €729,000 in scrap, is still adrift.
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.
Belgian-based searcher Pim de Rhoodes said: “She is floating around 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.”
“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.”
Some footage from in the Lyubov Orlova before she became a ghost ship.