Ship mysteriously washes ashore with no captain or crew.
File this one under the categories spooky and mysterious. A large oil tanker drifted ashore on a Liberia beach last week, but its captain and crew were nowhere to be found.
Grind TV reports the 200-foot Panamanian vessel named Tamaya 1 was bound for Senegal when locals discovered it washed up on the beach on May 3. The ship’s last known position was reported off Senegal to the north of Liberia. Marine Traffic.com says the vessel is still underway on a listing on the website.
What happened between there and it washing up on the beach is a mystery at this point. While some fishermen reportedly saw the vessel adrift the day before, it took Liberian authorities two days to even respond to the ship’s appearance according to the Liberian Observer.
Liberia hasn’t exactly been known for its stability and security in recent decades, but local residents still questioned how authorities could have missed something as big as a ghost ship washing up on the beach.
“What about the Coast Guard officers whose duty is to know about ships that enter Liberian territorial waters?” one unnamed resident told the Liberian Observer. “This is all the more worrisome for some of us – that our security apparatus should be ready at all times and not be sleeping after something huge has happened.”
Of course, the bigger question is what happened to the ship’s crew. Of course, the internet immediately began speculating the more ridiculous theories like sea monsters and space aliens. But some believe the ghost ship was simply abandoned by the owners due to high operating costs.
“Our best bet is that the vessel’s owner might have gone broke and had no money to pay crew members; and therefore, the crew abandoned the ship,” an unnamed source from the Liberian National Port Authority told the Liberian Observer.
When authorities did finally get on board the ship, they found no current operating documents however. In fact, evidence from the scene shows something more sinister might have been going on according to Front Page Africa Online.
“During the search on board the vessel, it was discovered that the abandoned vessel is an oil tanker and but so far no information was established regarding the number of crew members as no crew members were found on board,” Libera’s Ministry of National Defense said. “It was further gathered by the LCG that the vessel was gutted by fire, leaving the bridge (Upper and Control Center) burned along with all the documents.”
This news of course, fuels speculation of piracy, which has been increasing in recent years off the West African coast, especially near Liberia.
Just earlier this month, the International Maritime Bureau posted a report online saying 44 people have been kidnapped off West Africa this year alone. In total, 37 incidents of piracy and armed robbery have already been confirmed for 2016, some of those attacks were directed at oil vessels similar to the ghost ship.
While piracy seems a likely culprit, until some sign of the crew turns up, it’s likely no one will know for sure what exactly happened. One thing is for certain, it’s definitely a spooky ocean mystery.