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Japanese Tsunami Ghost Ship Spotted Off Canadian Coast 145

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fox-mulder-investigates-discovers-terrible-plot dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from an article in Inhabitat: "After Japan was hit with a devastating earthquake in March 2011, the Pacific nation was rocked by a massive tsunami that destroyed thousands of coastal houses, cars and boats and swept millions of tons of debris out into the ocean. Now, it looks like some of that debris could be approaching North America. Last week, an unmanned boat identified as a Japanese fishing vessel was spotted off the coast of Canada, indicating that after more than a year, some of that debris could still be on its way to American and Canadian shores."
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Japanese Tsunami Ghost Ship Spotted Off Canadian Coast

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  • "Last week" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:09PM (#39555219)

    That would be "last week" from last week when inhabitat got the story a week late? The boat was sighted March 20th.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everyone else reported this two weeks ago. Can't wait for Slashdot's report on the Moon landing.

  • FOR SALE

    One slightly used Fishing Trawler. Low hours, 2x Marine Diesels that ran like a dream when last started.
    There has been some maintenance deferred last season, but otherwise perfect.
    All controls Japanese.

    $3,000,000 obo.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Do you have clean title?
      Yeah, this is a bigger question than what is looks like

      • by scheme (19778) on Monday April 02, 2012 @09:37PM (#39555813)

        Do you have clean title? Yeah, this is a bigger question than what is looks like

        The parent isn't far off from the truth. I think salvage law would award a moderately large percentage (20-50%) of the value of the ship to anyone that boards and salvages the ship. Even a crappy boat would probably be worth six figures so any salvage crews could be looking at a decent amount of money if they succeed.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I would think a greater percentage - it has essentially been abandoned with no attempts ( at least not reported ) to recover.

        • by utkonos (2104836)
          Correct me if I'm wrong, but salvage law only begins to apply when a vessel has sunk.
          • by scheme (19778) on Monday April 02, 2012 @10:08PM (#39556017)

            Correct me if I'm wrong, but salvage law only begins to apply when a vessel has sunk.

            Nope, from my understanding it also applies to ships in distress or which are sinking or those that have been abandoned.

            • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

              You're correct, as far as I know. One of the requirements for being part of an RNLI crew is that you relinquish salvage rights to vessels you aid.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Nope. Almost as soon as a vessel is abandoned (and even before in some situations) it is potentially salvageable under various justifications, but if ownership can be determined there are rules for how the ship can be disposed of before any title can pass to a new owner. Basically, you can salvage it, but that doesn't mean you own it, although it does mean you are entitled to some compensation from the owner before they can retake possession of it. Even if the vessel is crewed salvage fees may still be o

    • by cifey (583942)
      Does it have gas or nucular power?
    • by alienzed (732782) on Monday April 02, 2012 @11:48PM (#39556493) Homepage
      Stop Trawling.
    • by Tablizer (95088)

      "...Not responsible for trauma caused by ghosts, dead bodies, or any other Halloween-like apparitions."

    • by Toad-san (64810)

      If I had enough truly mad money .. I'd tow her in, get her serviced, fuel her up, and sail her back to Japan.

      To give back to her owners with a big red bow and a US flag :-)

      I don't know if that kind of trawler (a squid trawler, probably purely coastal) has that kind of range, but I'd sure give it a shot! Hell, that must be the most seaworthy ship in all the oceans!

    • by baegucb (18706)

      Shipping cost to the midwest? And will you use Fedex, UPS or USPS?

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:10PM (#39555233)

    The thing I love most about Slashdot is that they wait until I've completely forgotten reading a story before they post it, so its like a whole new experience.

    • by Sez Zero (586611) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @06:26AM (#39558087) Journal
      Slashdot: It's not news, but it might be new to you!
  • Unmanned (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:17PM (#39555267)

    > Last week, an unmanned boat identified as a Japanese fishing vessel

    I'm confused. Does this ship have ghosts on it or not?

  • if (!deadPeopleOnBoard) ship.ghost = false;

  • Free boat!

    • Well, maritime salvage laws probably apply... so, yeah. Free boat!
      • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Informative)

        by camperdave (969942) on Monday April 02, 2012 @10:41PM (#39556181) Journal

        Well, maritime salvage laws probably apply... so, yeah. Free boat!

        Actually, now that I've done some googling, I'll have to retract my statement. No free boat for you!

        The popular belief that a salvor becomes the owner of the property, at least if it was abandoned by the owner or was derelict, is erroneous. The owner may always reclaim his property from the salvor on paying salvage money. The salvor, for his part, has a maritime lien on the salved property (in an amount determined by national statute or juridical custom) and need not return the property to the owner until his claim is satisfied or until security to meet an award is given. An owner who elects not to reclaim his property cannot be made liable for a salvage reward.

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/519995/salvage [britannica.com]

        The objects salvaged always remain the property of the original owner, but the original owner is responsible for compensating the salvor (person doing the salvaging) for their time, effort, and the danger they went through to salvage the property. So if you find a 5 million dollar yacht that has slipped loose from its moorings and is adrift, you do not get to claim it. (Which is a good thing if it is your 5 million dollar yacht which your bone-head brother-in-law borrowed but then, like an idiot, forgot to drop anchor when he took the tender ashore to go to a party, get wasted, and find with some bubble-headed island girl half his age to spend the night with.) However, you can hold onto it until the owner pays you for the boat's retrieval.

        Having said that, apparently the owner of the boat no longer wants it back, so the question of ownership is up in the air.

        • by scheme (19778)

          You don't get to claim ownership but if you get to keep possession until the owner gives you a percentage of the vessel's worth as compensation for rescuing the boat, that's still pretty nice. I'd be fine with 10% of the value of that yacht for boarding it and bringing it back to shore. If the conditions are hazardous, you get more. However, this is according to wikipedia and you'd probably have to consult a maritime attorney to get a more definitive answer.

        • by chrismcb (983081)

          Having said that, apparently the owner of the boat no longer wants it back, so the question of ownership is up in the air.

          I believe you just laid out the rules of ownership. The owner still owns it. Whoever salvages has a maritime lien, and apparently the owner has already said he won't pay it.

          • Having said that, apparently the owner of the boat no longer wants it back, so the question of ownership is up in the air.

            I believe you just laid out the rules of ownership. The owner still owns it. Whoever salvages has a maritime lien, and apparently the owner has already said he won't pay it.

            He probably already got an insurance settlement and replaced it, so getting this "lost" boat back could create a PITA situation for himself... and really, who knows what shape its in after drifting across the Pacific... It's been adrift for a year. I understand why he doesn't want it back.

          • Thing is, the owner may have put in a claim with an insurance company, in which case the insurance company may now be the owner, depending on how the law works in Japan. Complicating matters is the report that the wreck is drifting north-east and has crossed into US waters. The US coast guard may decide to sink the vessel, as it is heading towards some busy shipping lanes. They have dropped a marker buoy onto the ship.
          • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

            I suspect an insurance company probably technically owns it now. I doubt they want it either - its scrap value after paying any salvor's fee probably wouldn't make it worth it.

        • by MrKaos (858439)

          (Which is a good thing if it is your 5 million dollar yacht which your bone-head brother-in-law borrowed but then, like an idiot, forgot to drop anchor when he took the tender ashore to go to a party, get wasted, and find with some bubble-headed island girl half his age to spend the night with.)

          Everybody has got a story to tell, and I have to ask, what did you tell your sister?

        • by necro81 (917438)

          So if you find a 5 million dollar yacht that has slipped loose from its moorings and is adrift, you do not get to claim it. (Which is a good thing if it is your 5 million dollar yacht which your bone-head brother-in-law borrowed but then, like an idiot, forgot to drop anchor when he took the tender ashore to go to a party, get wasted, and find with some bubble-headed island girl half his age to spend the night with.)

          Impressively detailed story, sir. Speaking from experience?

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:29PM (#39555357)
    You know I can't grab your ghost ships.
  • Public safety officials warn that Japanese tsunami debris washing up on Pacific shores may be radioactive.
    • Re:Reminder (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:51PM (#39555511)

      Thats most likely uneducated speculation rather than fact. The meltdown didn't occur until well after the Tsunami swept everything out. The reality is all that debris was swept out to sea well before the plant melted down a week later. The radioactive materials leaked into the ocean weeks after the earthquake and would have been dispersed locally not on boats and stuff swept out by the tsunami.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        Public safety officials tend to be conservative with unknowns. This debris was not that far offshore and directly downwind from three nuclear meltdowns with considerable airborne release of radioactive material. People should use due care when interacting with it.
        • Re:Reminder (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Microlith (54737) on Monday April 02, 2012 @09:28PM (#39555761)

          Most of the initial material release was Iodine, the vast majority of which has since decayed.

          Of course, your statements are completely un-sourced so unless you can link to such a statement you either tried, and failed, to be funny or are just spreading nonsense.

          • by symbolset (646467) *
            Oh wow, you're right. I remember reading initial reports expressing concern, but apparently NOAA has given the all clear. [noaa.gov] Never mind.
            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Oh wow, you're right. I remember reading initial reports expressing concern, but apparently NOAA has given the all clear. Never mind.

              Uh, yeah. About that. From your link:

              There is consensus among scientists that this is highly unlikely, for several reasons:

              [...]

              For more information on radiation monitoring and safety, go to: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

              Right. The EPA and the FDA. So the consensus is among EPA and FDA scientists? Someone else can go out there and get that shit.

              • by Microlith (54737)

                Good job on your illiteracy. Note the bit you quoted:

                For more information on radiation monitoring and safety, go to: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

                Italics mine. They're pointing people to those sites for additional information on the topics of radiation monitoring and safety. Neither the EPA nor FDA have a hand in this. Good job at failing utterly at reading comprehension in favor of omgnuke paranoia.

                • by drinkypoo (153816)

                  There's no significant information in the linked article, and that's the only citation that explains where they might have gotten the goods. If they include a bibliography I'll be happy to examine it.

      • But it makes for great copy on the Tee Vee:

        "Killer Japanese Debris Headed for the West Coast! Film at 11!"

  • We all know that's how horror movies start.

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:38PM (#39555411)
      That ship will begin the zombie apocalypse.
    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Monday April 02, 2012 @09:06PM (#39555613)

      What was made public about the ship, that she was a Japanese fishing trawler, that she was swept out to sea in a tsunami and was lost... none of that is true. The ship was a secret government project to create a fishing trawler capable of faster-than-light travel. The ship doesn't really go faster than light. It creates a gateway to jump instantaneously from one point to another oceans away. It's called a gravity drive. I built it.

      The mission was going perfectly, they reached safe distance using conventional engines. They had the go-ahead to use the gravity drive and open the gateway to Antarctic whaling waters. And then, they just disappeared, vanished without a trace.

      Until now.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday April 02, 2012 @08:45PM (#39555467) Homepage

    an unmanned boat identified as a Japanese fishing vessel was spotted off the coast of Canada,

    Use it for torpedo practice. Once it floats into your territorial waters just sink the damn thing. Problem solved.

    • by darrenm (1632751)
      We couldn't if we wanted to. We only buy overpriced, used subs from Britain that aren't safe, let alone ready for combat. Currently we don't have any submarines that have attack capabilities... so if you want to take over Canada, now is the time. http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/74078-second-hand-subs-bad-deal-canada-says-british-mp [thechronicleherald.ca]
    • by Maow (620678)

      an unmanned boat identified as a Japanese fishing vessel was spotted off the coast of Canada,

      Use it for torpedo practice. Once it floats into your territorial waters just sink the damn thing. Problem solved.

      Except for the oil & diesel leak we'd have created in our own waters.

      And the loss of salvage or scrap value.

      And the cost of the torpedo, unless a practice shot is, in fact, useful.

      Probably a few better things could be done with it.

    • by Catmeat (20653)
      Since this thread has already established that the boat is still a valuable asset that remains the property of the owners. Sinking it when it could be salvaged with little effort would presumably open the Canadian authorities up to an immediate lawsuit from the owners.
  • Marie. Marie Celeste.

  • It's Ragnarok:

    A ship journeys from the east, Muspell's people are coming,
    over the waves, and Loki steers
    There are the monstrous brood with all the raveners,
    The brother of Byleist is in company with them.

    Alright, not really. But I do take this as a sign my imagination still works.
  • Nothing to worry about. Apparently the case of the Japanese Ghost Fishermen has been resolved by four teenagers and their great dane. Old Man McGee was responsible for the whole mess and was apparently trying to distract attention from his illegal human trafficking operations.
  • The location, 150 miles south of the Haida Gwaii islands, is about 200 miles west of Vancouver. The currents along the Pacific coast of North America run southward, so the ship is going to drift into US waters soon. The U.S. will probably get stuck with the bill for towing the thing before it hits something. It's floating high in the water, so the hull is in good shape.

    • Those insenstive Japanese bastards are too busy playing with their nuclear meltdown and fishing corpses out of the rubble to think about the impact this has on decent hard-working Americans. I mean, hundreds of tons of scrap steel will probably only just cover the cost of towing it away. You're welcome, world!
    • by plopez (54068)

      There is a thing called "Maritime Insurance". If insured it probably will be either overhauled and sold or scrapped to by the insurance company to recoup insurance losses and rescue costs. If not it may become the property of the towing company to recoup expenses. As the US, Canada, and Japan probably have reciprocity on maritime rescue (the US fishes their boats and sailors out of the water, and Japan fishes the US and Canadian boats and sailors out of the water) Coast Guard or Naval expenses are considere

  • I love this phrase: "colonization of America"

  • This article makes me wonder what may have been sucked into the North Pacific Gyre. I might be interesting to find out.

  • A ghost ship from the land of a nuclear meltdown? We're talking Event Horizon scale stuff here. Probably some kind of mutant ghosts.

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