Coast Guard fires on Japanese ghost ship

MARK THIESSEN RACHEL D'ORO Associated Press Published:

OVER THE GULF OF ALASKA (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard says it has unleashed cannon fire at a Japanese vessel set adrift by last year's tsunami, stopping the ship's long, lonely voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

Spokesman Paul Webb says a Coast Guard cutter fired Thursday on the abandoned 164-foot Ryou-Un Maru in the waters of the Gulf of Alaska and more than 150 miles from land.

The Japanese ship was destined for scrapping when the Japan earthquake struck so there is no cargo on board.

The Coast Guard decided to sink it, rather than risk the chance of it running aground or endangering other vessels.