Tag Archives: Dominican Republic

Ghost ship with cannibal rats may head to Scotland

An abandoned Russian ‘ghost ship’ infested with cannibal rats may be drifting towards the west coast of Scotland according to salvage experts.

The cruise liner Lyubov Orlova has been drifting across the Atlantic for almost a year after being cut adrift by the Canadian government and now a Belgian salvage company have asked Scots sailors to be on the lookout for the vessel which is worth £600,000 in scrap metal.

Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, the 300 foot ship was abandoned by its owners and crew at the port of St Johns in Newfoundland in September 2010 after they were unable to pay a $251,000 debt.

Two years later the Canadian authorities arranged to sell the hull for scrap to the Dominican Republic but en route the unlucky vessel broke its tow line one day out of port and began drifting towards oil platforms.

When Transport Canada regained control of the Lyubov Orlova, it was then decided to tow it into international waters and abandon the vessel rather than continue the voyage. At the time a statement said that the vessel: “no longer poses a threat to the safety of offshore oil installation, their personnel or the maritime environment. The vessel has drifted into international waters and given current patterns and predominant winds, it is very unlikely that the vessel will re-enter waters under Canadian jurisdiction”

Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian salvage hunter, who has twice set off in search of the vessel only to return empty handed, said the only occupants now will be hundreds of rats forced to eat each other in order to survive, and that the vessel must still be drifting as not all of its lifeboat emergency beacons have been set off. Mr de Rhoodes said: “She is floating around out there somewhere. There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other. If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison.”

> Why ? If they’ve been drifting for so long, eating each other, all that must be left by now is one big fat rat. A marksman with a rifle sounds like a better option. 🙂

Kris Abelshausen, a logistics manager with Mr de Rhoodes company, Seatec, said the vessel could be drifting towards the Scottish coast: “If anyone spots it we’d like them to let us know.”

Under international maritime law a vessel abandoned at sea can become the property of those who find it, however the owners can attempt to ‘buy’ it back. The Seatec team may choose to either sell the vessel for its scrap value or keep the vessel. Mr Abelshausen said: “It is a huge vessel, larger than the current vessel we have and Mr de Rhoodes is keen to track it down.”

However another possible scenario is that the vessel has already sunk. Last February the Irish Coast Guard spotted that one of the vessel’s emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) went off approximately 700 miles off the coast of County Kerry. However two trips by spotter planes failed to find the ship. Yesterday a spokesman for the Irish Coast Guard said the vessel could have sunk in such a manner that not all the remaining radio beacons would have been activated.

A spokesperson for the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency today said the vessel last came to their attention last year and there was doubt that it was still afloat: “We have received no reported sightings of the vessel since April last year – and there is no evidence to suggest it is still afloat.

“Any ‘ghost ship’ entering European waters is highly likely to be reported, due to the large number of vessels passing through the area. We would then act accordingly.”

Source –  The Scotsman, 24 Jan 2014

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Almanac – March 02

1717 – The Loves of Mars and Venus –  the first ballet performed in England – made its premiere at the Drury Lane Theater in London.

The creation of choreographer John Weaver,  the story of the ballet was derived from Greek mythology, although Weaver’s immediate source was P.A. Motteux‘s play, The Loves of Mars and Venus.

The role of Venus was performed by  Hester Santlow, who was highly regarded for her beauty, dancing, and ability as an actress. Although it is not certain, many believe the role of Mars was performed by the French dancer Louis Dupre.

At the time, most classical ballet was nearly devoid of dramatic content, and Weaver sought to change that using  dancing, gestures and movement to convey the plot and emotions of the ballet, without relying on spoken or sung text.

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1825 – Roberto Cofresí,  one of the last successful Caribbean pirates, was defeated in combat and captured by authorities.

Better known as El Pirata Cofresí,  he  was the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico, and his life story, particularly in its Robin Hoodsteal from the rich, give to the poor” aspect, has become legendary in Puerto Rico and throughout the rest of Latin America. It has inspired countless songs, poems, books and films.

The entire town of Cofresí, near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, was named after him.

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1900 – Kurt Weill born. German composer, active from the 1920s,  in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, with whom he developed productions such as his most well known work The Threepenny Opera, a Marxist critique of capitalism, which included the ballad “Mack the Knife“.

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1930 – D. H. Lawrence died. English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter . His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.

Lawrence’s opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his “savage pilgrimage”.

At the time of his death – from complications of tuberculosis –  his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, “The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”

Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence’s fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel. Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature.

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1933 – The film King Kong opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

Variety thought the film a powerful adventure. The New York Times gave readers an enthusiastic account of the plot and thought the film a fascinating adventure,  although the   film’s subtextual threat to Aryan womanhood got Kong banned in Nazi Germany.

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1942 – Lou Reed born. American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his solo career, which has spanned several decades.

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1991 – Serge Gainsbourg died. French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director.

Regarded as one of the most important figures in French popular music, he was renowned for his often provocative and scandalous releases, as well as his diverse artistic output, which embodied genres ranging from jazz, chanson, pop and yé-yé, to reggae, funk, rock, electronic and disco music – his extremely varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize.

His legacy has been firmly established, and he is often regarded as one of the world’s most influential popular musicians.

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