Britain is currently trembling with fear at the prospect of an invasion of cannibalistic rats from the Russian ghost ship Lyubov Orlova, and Canada may well be to blame.
Shrieks of panic at the prospect of a rabid rodent invasion on U.K. shores permeated the Internet Thursday, as the abandoned ship was thought to have been propelled by dreadful storms thousands of miles across the Atlantic... From Canada.
See images of the Lyubov Orlova. Story continues below.
The former Russian cruise ship was set adrift in international waters a year ago by the Canadian government, when an attempt to move the debt-ridden vessel from St. John's harbour (where it had languished for two years) to the Dominican Republic failed after the tow rope snapped.
NDP transport critic Olivia Chow told the St. John's Telegram that the decision to move the ship in the dead of winter was "benign neglect."
And that neglect, according to Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian-based marine missions specialist, could have turned the 4,250 ton ship into a floating hell hole.
“There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other," he told British tabloid, The Sun. "If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison.”
Concerns that the ship—with an estimated salvage value of close to $1 million—could be an issue for the U.K. were echoed by Irish coastguard chief Chris Reynolds, reported the Telegraph. “There have been huge storms in recent months but it takes a lot to sink a vessel as big as that. We must stay vigilant.”
Last February, French environmental organization Robin des Bois castigated Canada for its actions and called for an international mission to secure the ship.
"Canada vandalizes the Atlantic through their lack of observation of maritime security and the improper disposal of their ships," the NGO said in a statement. "The high density of maritime traffic in the Atlantic, and existing high risk for collisions, demands the moblization of an international help and rescue mission to catch the Lyubov Orlova and move it to a secure place."
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, there is no evidence that the ship is anywhere near the U.K. nor whether "there are rats on the boat, or whether they're diseased, cannibalistic or perfectly civilized."
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