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US Coast Guard fires to sink Japanese tsunami ship

United States America,Defence/Security, Fri, 06 Apr 2012 IANS

Washington, April 6 (IANS) The US Coast Guard has fired cannons to sink a Japanese ghost ship that was drifting towards Alaska, a media report said.


A Coast Guard cutter opened fire at the abandoned Ryou-Un Maru in the waters of the Gulf of Alaska, more than 150 miles from land, KTUU TV quoted spokesperson Paul Webb as saying.


The Japanese ship was washed out to sea by last year's tsunami. It was set for scrapping when the Japan earthquake struck, according to Webb. The ship possibly holds thousands of gallons of fuel in its tanks.


Before the Coast Guard began to conduct the sinking operation, a Canadian fishing vessel expressed interest to salvage it, but its captain later decided it was not safe to tow it, reported Xinhua.


Ryou-Un Maru's Japanese owners also were reportedly not interested in salvaging it.


The Coast Guard cutter fired cannons to punch holes in the Ryou-Un Maru, and officials hope that could sink it to the ocean floor. A Coast Guard C-130 plane crew will monitor the operation.


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