Ghost Ship ‘Crewed By Cannibal Rats’ Heading To Britain

Sameera Ehteram
A ghost ship, believed to be infested by disease-ridden cannibal rats, is possibly heading to British shores.

A ghost ship, believed to be infested by disease-ridden cannibal rats,is possibly heading to British shores.

It sounds like the plot of a horror movie - and not a very good one at that - but it’s not.

Lyubov Orlova, a cruise ship named after a Russian actress, was built in Yugoslavia in 1976 and abandoned in a Canadian harbor after its owners were involved in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew.

It is said to have come loose in a storm, sending the ship off into international waters.The vessel has been adrift in the North Atlantic for the past 12 months.

Coastguards now believe it could be driven thousands of miles towards Britain by the recent storms.

It’s possible that the ship sank, but its lifeboats are designed to send off signals when they make contact with the water and so far only two such signals have been received. It is believed they were from lifeboats that fell off the ship’s side. The rest haven’t been heard from; leaving hope that the ship may well still be out there.

Irish coastguard Chief Chris Reynolds believes the 4,250-ton vessel, spotted 1,300 nautical miles off Ireland last year, is likely to be still afloat.

‘There have been huge storms in recent months but it takes a lot to sink a vessel as big as that,’ he said.

‘We must stay vigilant.’

While there is no exaggeration about the ship being let loose with rats abroad, it’s not exactly haunted. The term ghost ship however is used for vessels with no living crew aboard. However,  it may be infested with cannibal rats as they would have had nothing to eat but each other.

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

Oh, by the way, there’s a Twitter account out there for Lyubov Orlova describing itself as, “I am lonely boat and wish to go home.”

It has been tweeting messages. We kid you not:






And then, of course, there is the site that also features an app that can help locate the floating ghost ship. For queries you are invited to email at

Well, let’s see if the mysterious Lyubov Orlova makes to the British shores or meets some other fate.