Rusting ghost ship bearing Indonesian flag found off Myanmar
A rusting cargo ship empty of crew and goods and bearing the Indonesian flag was found drifting off the coast of Myanmar earlier this week, police in Yangon said.
A fisherman came across the vessel, bearing the name “Sam Rataulangi PB 1600”, floating in the Gulf of Martaban about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the shore of Myanmar’s commercial capital.
State-run media reported that the ship was being towed to neighboring Bangladesh.
Authorities and navy personnel boarded the vessel early Thursday to investigate the situation, said a Yangon police statement posted on Facebook late Thursday.
The ship was “stranded on the beach (and it was) bearing an Indonesian flag,” the statement said.
“There was no sailors or goods on the vessel.”
According to the Marine Traffic website, which lists the movements of ships around the globe, the vessel was built in 2001 and had a deadweight of 26,500 tonnes.
The ship’s transponder last reported its location off the coast of Taiwan in 2009.
This is the first reported instance of an abandoned ship appearing in Myanmar’s waters.
Old and unseaworthy vessels are often towed to Bangladesh’s southern Chittagong province, which houses a thriving — and controversial — ship-breaking industry. /vvp
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