A deserted Russian cruise ship inhabited only by cannibal rats is heading for the British coast after drifting aimlessly in the North Atlantic for the past year.
The Lyubov Orlova used to give Arctic and Antarctic cruises before it was cut loose off the coast of Canada in January 2013.
Able to hold up to 110 passengers, the 4,250-ton ship was built 40 years ago in the Soviet Union. It was impounded in Newfoundland in 2010 over debts and deserted by an unpaid crew. In 2013, she was supposed to be towed to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped, but the tow line broke in rough seas.
The exact location of the ship at this time is unknown, but experts say Lyubov Orlova could make landfall in Scotland, Western Ireland or the far southern tip of England, The Mirror reported.
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While some speculated that the ship sank, signals are being received from its lifeboats, indicating they have not been “activated” and thus haven’t hit the water.
"There have been huge storms in recent months but it takes a lot to sink a vessel as big as that," Irish coastguard chief Chris Reynolds told the Daily Record. "We must stay vigilant."
Valued at about £600,000, or $997,800, many scrappers have been searching for the ship themselves.
"She is floating around out there somewhere,” said Belgian searcher Pim de Rhoodes.
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Experts say the ship may be infested with rats, which could only survive by feeding on other rats.
"There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other,” Rhoodes added. “If I get aboard I'll have to lace everywhere with poison."