Namely, the container ship ‘Sam Ratulangi PB 1600’ ran aground on a beach off Myanmar’s commercial capital, where she was discovered by fishermen on Thursday, according to BBC. Local authorities, including navy, boarded the mysterious ship searching for answers and mostly, how such a large ship, with no crewmen or goods onboard, had ended up in Myanmar.
Notably, the ship’s last location was recorded off the coast of Taiwan in 2009, and this was the first reported instance of an abandoned ship appearing in Myanmar’s waters, according to the AFP news agency.
As part of the investigation on Saturday, the navy suggested that the vessel was being towed by a tugboat heading to a shipbreaking facility in Bangladesh, but the crew abandoned the ship due to heavy weather. Namely, the investigators found two cables at the head of the ship and then discovered a tug, called ‘Independence’, about 80 km off Myanmar.
After questioning the 13 Indonesian crew members onboard, they learned that the tugboat had been towing the vessel since 13 August, to take it to a factory in Bangladesh that would dismantle the ship. However, some of the cables attached to the boat broke in bad weather, and they decided to abandon the ship.
Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards have been at the centre of global ship recycling industry’s attention for many years over concerns of marine pollution, hazardous waste dumping and unsafe working conditions.
The authorities are investigating further the unprecedented incident.
The 2001-built ship is more than 177 metres long, according to Marine Traffic.