‘Ghost ship’ runs aground on Myanmar coast

The Sam Ratulangi PB 1600 container ship
Image captionThe vessel, built in 2001, is more than 177 metres long

Police in Myanmar are searching a large rusty container ship for clues after it was spotted by fishermen mysteriously drifting near the region of Yangon.

The vessel, bearing the name “Sam Ratulangi PB 1600”, was discovered earlier this week floating near the coast of Myanmar’s commercial capital.

“There were no sailors or goods on the vessel,” the Yangon police said.

Authorities and navy personnel boarded the ship on Thursday to investigate after it ran aground, the police added.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the Yangon police said the ship was “stranded on the beach [and it was] bearing an Indonesian flag”.

Aung Kyaw Linn, the general secretary of the Independent Federation of Myanmar Seafarers, said the vessel was still in working order, the Myanmar Times reports.

He said he suspected that the ship was only recently abandoned, adding: “There must be a reason.”

The vessel, which was built in 2001, is more than 177 metres (580 ft) long, according to the Marine Traffic website, which logs the movements of ships around the world.

The ship’s location was last recorded off the coast of Taiwan in 2009, and this is the first reported instance of an abandoned ship appearing in Myanmar’s waters, according to the AFP news agency.

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