04/04/2012 09:13 EDT | Updated 06/04/2012 05:12 EDT

Japanese 'Ghost Ship' Claimed By Canadians


UPDATED: The U.S. Coast Guard has had to delay sinking the "ghost ship" because a Canadian fishing vessel has reportedly claimed the vessel on salvage rights.

More to come.


The U.S. Coast Guard intends to sink the so-called Japanese "ghost ship" that was first spotted adrift off the B.C. coast last month, CBC News has learned.

The derelict vessel was ripped from its moorings during the March 2011 tsunami in northern Japan.

The plan calls for a coast guard ship to come alongside Thursday morning and blast holes in the ship's hull with a 25-millimetre cannon.

The unmanned 54-metre vessel is now being carried north on ocean currents toward Alaska and is considered a potential hazard to shipping.

The ship, which was first spotted March 23 about 220 kilometres off Haida Gwaii, B.C., is believed to be at the leading edge of a field of debris weighing millions of tonnes and expected to hit the West Coast starting later this year and through 2013.

The debris was picked up and carried out to sea by the massive waves and swells that swept ashore March 11, 2011, after a powerful earthquake off the Japanese coast.

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