'Ghost ship' found drifting off coast of Burma, Navy solves mystery

Officials investigating a "ghost ship" found mysteriously drifting off the coast of Burma this week solved the mystery of where the vessel came from on Friday.

The rusty Sam Rataulangi PB 1600 freighter was discovered by fishermen in the Gulf of Maraban, about 7 miles off the coast near Yangon, the largest city in Burma, which is called Myanmar by its ruling junta.

The country's navy said the empty cargo ship was being towed to a ship-breaking plant in Bangladesh when severe weather caused it to become detached sometime early last week, according to Sky News.

The ship was found completely abandoned.

The ship was found completely abandoned. (Yangon Police/Facebook)

Yangon Police said on their Facebook page the ship was "stranded on the beach (and was) bearing an Indonesian flag," police said, adding that there were "no sailors or goods" onboard.

Navy officials had used coastal radar records to establish the location of two vessels prior to their separation, and then tracked down a tugboat called Independence about 50 miles off the coast.

The Sam Rataulangi was built in 2001 and has a dead weight of 26,500 tons, according to the Marine Traffic.

The Sam Rataulangi was built in 2001 and has a dead weight of 26,500 tons, according to the Marine Traffic. (Yangon Police/Facebook)

When crew members were questioned, they told the Navy they had left Jakarta on Aug. 13 for the ship-breaking factory in Bangladesh.

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"They faced bad weather when they arrived south of Yangon River," the navy said, according to Agence France-Presse. "The cables attached to the ship broke, and the ship was floating along with the tide and it was difficult to continue its journey."

The vessel then ran aground after being carried off by the current, before it was found by fishermen this week.

The country's navy said the empty cargo ship was being towed to a ship-breaking plant in Bangladesh when severe weather on caused it to become detached.

The country's navy said the empty cargo ship was being towed to a ship-breaking plant in Bangladesh when severe weather on caused it to become detached. (Yangon Police/Facebook.)

The Sam Rataulangi was built in 2001 and has a dead weight of 26,500 tons, according to the Marine Traffic, which lists the movements of ships around the globe. The ship's last reported location was off the coast on Taiwan in 2009.