Lyubov Orlova Ship Carrying Diseased Rats Headed for England?

January 24, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The Lyubov Orlova ship has been heavily covered in the United Kingdom amid fears that the rat infested boat could make land on Britain’s shore.

The ship was left out in sea after, following authorities seizing the ship, a tow cable snapped. They were towing it to the Dominican Republic to sell it for scrap.

Owners abandoned the ship before the seizure because they were embroiled in debt, reported the Independent.

Experts said that hundreds of rats that have been eating each other to survive are likely still on board.

Though it is rumored that the ship sank, experts said that not all of the boat’s lifeboat emergency beacons have not been set off, indicating that it is still afloat. 

“She is floating around out there somewhere,” Belgian salvage hunter Pim de Rhoodes told the Sun.

“There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other. If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison.”

However, officials took a more guarded approach. Chris Reynolds, director of the Irish Coast Guard, told the Guardian that “The problem you have now is that you can’t prove something you don’t know.”

He said that the Irish Coast Guard was alerted in March 2013 that the ship might be nearby but they never spotted it.

Using a modeling system, it was predicted that the ship could be heading to Norway or the south of England but “you can’t be 100 percent sure.”

“We couldn’t find it and there was no value to keep on searching,” he said. “But we have to keep vigilant.”

A spokesperson for the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: “We have received no reported sightings of the vessel since April last year, but we will respond accordingly.”

Ghost ships are not that uncommon, with an estimated average of 146 ships going missing annually from 2001 to 2010.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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