Tsunami powered ghost ship closes in on Canadian shores

When last year’s earthquake and resulting tsunami rocked Japan, the destruction of property and disruption to travel plans were immediate. Minor quakes after the initial tremor did little more damage. But a Japanese squid-fishing boat has been drifting across the Pacific Ocean all year and is now closing in on British Columbia’s north coast.

“It’s been drifting across the Pacific for a year, so it’s pretty beat up,” said marine search coordinator Jeff Olsson of Victoria’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in a Times Colonist article.

The 150-foot tsunami ghost ship was sent out to sea by the weather event and first found drifting right-side-up about 140 nautical miles (260 km) from Cape Saint James on the southern tip of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia. A Canadian Coast Guard plane on a routine surveillance patrol spotted the ship on March 20, causing them to issue a warning to all vessels that the ship is an obstruction to navigation.

“The ghost ship is probably going to be pretty much worthless – nobody’s going to want to have anything to do with it because of the huge costs that are going to be incurred [towing it to shore],” said Gray, senior captain with the Vessel Assist towing company reports the Times Colonist, adding “All that garbage, it’s going to hit Alaska, it’s going to hit B.C. and it’s going to hit Washington.”

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Flickr photo by elmas156