U.S. Coast Guard Sinks Japanese “Ghost Ship”. Where’s the Video?

“A U.S. Coast Guard cutter poured cannon fire into a Japanese ghost ship that had been drifting since last year’s tsunami,” the AP reports. “As the crew pummeled the [the 164-foot Ryou-Un Maru] it burst into flames and began taking on water.” Nice work guys. Where’s the video? “The Coast Guard [fired] first with 25 mm shells, then a few hours later with ammunition twice that size.” Not so easy to sink as you thought, eh Mr. Bond? Now about that video . . . “In about four hours, the ship, its hull pockmarked with holes, vanished into the water, said Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow in Juneau. It sank into waters more than 6,000 feet deep, about 180 miles from land.” Nice work guys. But may I remind you that We the People paid for that little fish-in-a-barrel ballistic bonanza. Where’s the video? Are we so politically correct that we can’t show our armed forces blowing shit up?

comments

  1. avatar Garynyer says:

    Maybe they forgot

  2. avatar frankgon4 says:

    As to my knowledge, it has been a long time since the U.S. sunk a Japanese Ship

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Too long.

  3. avatar John Fritz says:

    “Are we so politically correct that we can’t show our armed forces blowing shit up?”

    I’ll field that one…

    Yes.

  4. avatar Matt in FL says:

    On the first story I read about this ship and their intent to scuttle it, the comment section was full of people whinging about the “environmental disaster,” with comments like “Did the EPA approve this?” and “What about the thousands of gallons of gas and oil on board?” and “OMG, think of the children!” (OK, I made that last one up.)

    Except for the rule I have about subjecting myself to stupidity (Mikeb’s posts notwithstanding), I really wanted to reply, “What would have happened if this ship had sunk sometime in the last year without any of you even knowing about it? Where would your moral outrage be then?” Silly hippies.

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      Obviously their concern is over the greenhouse gasses released when the guns were fired, along with all the lead introduced into the ocean by the procedure….

  5. avatar Aaron says:

    Maybe it was embarrassing for them to need so many shots to sink an unarmed, uncrewed, unarmored derelict civilian vessel?
    I have very little maritime knowledge, but wouldn’t they just need to stitch a reasonable number of holes around the waterline, and simply wait while it takes on water and goes down?

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      It is a very safe bet that only some of the rounds where intended to sink it. The rounds before that where the empty ship being used for live fire training and target practice. (and unofficialy for morale)

      That’s how we did it back in the day. The area was cleared then we had target practice, then we sank it.

  6. avatar Stuart says:

    obviously it’s all a conspiracy to hide the presence of grey space reptile muslin aliens from Kenya. How didn’t you work this out?!!!?

    *solemnly dons tinfoil beanie* watch the skis!

    … I mean skies. Skies.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    The video is being adapted for “Act of Valor II — The Coast Guard Strikes Back.” Starring real Coast Guardsmen! Coming soon to a theater near you! The story blows and the acting is below high school drama club standards, but they use real ammo!

  8. avatar Michael B. says:

    Robert, there is video. Here is the link:

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Now that’s just cruel.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Wow. It seems that our Coast Guard shoots almost as well as our cops.

      1. avatar Sig says:

        I wonder how much money they get to do live ammo fire every year.

        1. avatar Scott D. says:

          Well DHS did just sign a contract for up to 450 million rounds over the next five year. So I’m guessing at least one or two rounds a piece.

          Also, as stated before, the ship was in the process of being scrapped. So there was minimal fuel and lube oil on board and no ones livelyhood was being threatened by sending this soon to be Gilette Mach 3 razorblade to Davey Jones’ locker.

        2. avatar Michael says:

          Um… They’re shooting into the water in front of the boat because you have to put holes in a boat below the waterline to sink it. 😉

    3. avatar Tom says:

      I was underwhelmed.

  9. avatar Jay says:

    If there were some Taliban or scary Muslims on-board it may have been played endlessly in its entirety. But it was an unfortunate Japanese tsunami victim’s (who is likely dead) means of making a living. What glee would America get by blowing the shit out of someones business? It’s kind of like shitting on some persons grave, while your are wearing your tacticool suit and doing so with a big smile.

    Imagine the guy is alive and he sees his boat sunk by America. You already have protests and general dislike of occupying US military forces. I think the last thing America wants is to show videos of the armed forces shooting up Japanese vessels.

    Just saying…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      it was an unfortunate Japanese tsunami victim’s (who is likely dead) means of making a living

      No. The ship was being scrapped when it was taken out to sea by the tsunami. It was owned by a corporation. But your version is so much more romantic. You should write for NBC.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        It was probably full of zombies. I call cover up.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Aha, but zombies can’t drown.

          I wonder — can they float?

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          Probably not. That’s probably why they sank it.

          Now there’s a big steel can full of zombies at the bottom of the ocean, just waiting for a team of hapless divers to stumble upon them.

          Man, these scripts just write themselves…

        3. avatar Matt in FL says:

          In World War Z, they walked across the bottom of the ocean.

        4. avatar Ralph says:

          After zombies eat a hearty meal, do they, uh, you know? And if they do, uh, you know, do they drop trow? And why is it that zombies never drink? And when they’re walking around under the ocean, how do they know which way to go? Is there a zombie GPS?

          I’m starting to think that this whole zombie thing is somewhat exaggerated.

      2. avatar Tom says:

        I read the owners of the ship did not want it back and said it was OK to sink it.

    2. avatar MadDawg J says:

      It’s called a hazard to navigation. Look it up and see what could happen if we let it keep floating around.

  10. avatar koolaidguzzler says:

    Uh oh. It must be a DHS conspiracy.

  11. avatar Guywithagun says:

    Wow, what a waste. Couldn’t they have just towed the thing to land, dismantled it and used it for scrap? That thing was probably worth its weight in gold just from the scrap metals alone. Hell, why not just try to salvage the thing? It obviously survived the tsunami and months adrift. It was probably in good enough shape.

    What a waste.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Someone actually wanted to do that and showed up to attempt a salvage, but for reasons not stated the ship could not be towed to port.

      1. avatar Stuart says:

        “reasons not stated”

        Holy s**t guys, it’s CTHULHU! RUN AWAY!!!!

    2. avatar Hel says:

      It was there for the taking for anyone who wanted it, but the only ones who expressed an interest changed their mind.

  12. avatar g says:

    One wonders what the cost of cannon ammo vs a single well placed torpedo is… though I guess it’s probably in the Coast Guard’s interest to limit the spread of debris / garbage in a *BIG* explosion.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      Torpedoes are expensive, ask the U-Boat Captains.

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    I can only imagine the amount of politics over this from all sides.

  14. avatar bobby b says:

    It appears that they sunk it by filling it with water with their firehoses.

    I’m wondering if this is why we’re seeing so few pirate boats sunk off Somalia. They seem to be a lot faster than this Japanese boat.

    1. avatar Gerard says:

      I was wondering about the fire hoses but remembered the whole sinking was done as a training exercise. I presume the fire hoses were a part of that.

  15. avatar bontai Joe says:

    When I first started reading this, I was wondering why the owner’s didn’t want it back, but then I read it was already headed for the scrap yard before the Tsunami. As for scrap value? Tearing a ship apart and selling the metals is not all that profitable. That is why many ships are towed to India to be cut up for scrap, less regulation, less trouble with environmental issues like lead paint, asbestos insulation, contaminated oil, etc. and cheap labor. Here in the USA, the profits of selling the metal are more than eaten up by the cost to get rid of the toxic bits and pieces. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_breaking

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