If you’ve been anywhere near a computer or television this week, you’ve probably seen a rash of hyperbolic stories about a ghost cruise ship full of “cannibal rats” supposedly heading for the British coast. Well, the part about the loose, drifting ship is true, but the preposterous “cannibal rat” theory came from Pim de Rhoodes , a Belgian ship salvager with no real knowledge of the MV Lyubov Orlova’s situation.
The ghost ship was built in 1976 as an ice-strengthened cruise ship. Until 2005 it carried tourists to the Arctic and Antarctica. It languished until last year when it was being towed from New Foundland, Canada to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped. Shortly after leaving St. John’s the tow cable either broke or was purposely released. Either way, the Orlova has been floating somewhere in the North Atlantic Gyre.
The U.K.’s maritime authorities are not concerned about an imminent landing, but if you’re interested you can follow the story at the blog Where is Lyubov Orlova.