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Friday, April 6, 2012

U.S. To Blow-up Japanese Squid Boat


That's the best way to describe this story.

Following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, many people, animals and things were swept out to sea.

Just hours ago on April 5, 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard fired its guns on a derelict Japanese fishing boat, sinking it to the bottom of the ocean. The boat was a Japanese squid ship floating about 190 miles south-west of Sitka in the Gulf of Alaska... drifting at a speed of about one (1) mile per hour.

It's was ghost ship... with no crew onboard.

According to reports, the ship contained in its fuel tanks over 2,000 gallons of diesel which is constantly evaporating, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency believe is an environmental hazard.

So much so, that they believed it was safer to actually sink the derelict ship than to continue to let it spew its evaporated fuel into the air.

As well, there was also the fear that as the ship got closer to shipping lanes in the Alaska area, it could pose a hazard as it drifts.

Because of the threats, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter ship left port on Thursday, April 5 with the intent to blast the crap out of the Japanese ship—the Ryuo-Un Maru—with high explosive ammunition.

Why do I have visions of the WWII Pacific theater whipping around my head when I wasn't old enough to be there?

According to U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Charley Hengen, that drifting ship would eventually run aground somewhere, "So it is safer to mitigate the risks now before there's an accident or environmental impact."

The U.S. Coast Guard warned other ships to avoid the danger zone, and observed the sinking of the Ryou-Un Maru from the cutter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane.

The Ryou-Un Maru is believed to be 200 feet long. It had been adrift from Hokkaido, Japan, since it was ripped from its moorings by the tsunami.

The vessel belonged to a fishing company in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. It had been used for squid fishing before being put up for sale because of its advanced age. It has no lights or communication systems.

Now... call me ignorant (without fervor, please), but why exactly does the U.S. Coast Guard have to blow up the Ryou-Un Maru shrimping vessel?

The boat lacks lights and communications... but it's floating and does not appear to be in any danger of sinking - except when it gets hit by the cannon fire... so why isn't it being towed into port? Which port? Any port!

As well... is it not possible to have someone go aboard the ship and, if they still do such things, weigh anchor and halt it? Then bring over a tanker of some kind to pump the diesel fuel from it and then tow it someplace safe?

Or... what about the fact that this is just a boat adrift. If there were still a crew, and if they were running her on the sea, would the ship not still be putting 'harmful' diesel gases into the atmosphere or water? Is it really an environmental disaster simply because the boat is adrift and not actually working?

If it were working, wouldn't the squid ship be affecting the environment even more - what with its diesel fuel AND it's killing of marine life (squid)?!

This just in.... a Canadian ship decided it wasn’t worth towing for salvage.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s plans to sink the ship, were initially put off when the Canadian fishing ship Bernice C claimed salvage rights. But... those rights were abandoned after an inspection showed the ship was not worth saving.

By Andrew Joseph


  1. Diesel fuel evaporation is, actually, a big problem. You don't want to read this, but, well... If you have a mind that enjoys studying things like chemistry... Here:"Evaporation of diesel fuel droplets". The diesel fuel in this ship has probably been spoiled by evaporation and water condensation inside the tank. That, and one year of rust and zero maintenance on that ship make for a rusted out wreck with zero monetary value, I suppose.

  2. Awesome Mike! That's all I wanted to know! Why couldn't the reports give a bit more information?! Having been a journalist and a writer for an industrial mag - I like information!
    Thanks, buddy!

  3. It's easy - Americans like to play with their guns and will justify that play with any excuse.