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Rat-infested ghost cruise ship in Nordic waters?

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Atlantic storms may push Lyubov Orlova towards Scandinavia

It has been lost at sea for a year, but continuous Atlantic storms may be pushing it closer to Scandinavia. A ship once known for its Antarctic cruises, whose only passengers could now be diseased cannibal rats, may be drifting towards Norway, Iceland, Ireland or the UK, salvage experts warn.

The 4,250-tonne Lyubov Orlova has been floating in the Atlantic since January 2013. Satellites recently showed a mysterious blip matching the vessel’s size off the coast of Scotland, but search aircraft could not find it.

Named after a Russian actress, the Yugoslav-built ship was seized by port authorities in Canada when its owners ran out of money to pay the crew. As it was being towed to the Dominican Republic for scrap, rough seas broke the tow-line and it drifted away. The Canadian authorities managed to stop it, drag it into international waters and set it adrift again.

Maritime experts think it is still drifting, with cannibal rats on board that could have reproduced and eaten each other thousands of times over.

“There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other,” Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian salvage hunter, said. “If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison.”

IBT / The Sun

[pictured: Lyubov Orlova, Antarctica, 2010; photo by Lilpop,Rau&Loewenstein]

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