Story By: Scott Feng, Sub-Editor:Jamie King, Agency: AsiaWire
Video Credit: AsiaWire
A fishing boat has found an empty Mary Celeste-like cruise liner which was eerily empty and floating aimlessly off the coast of China.
The triple-deck vessel was discovered in the East China Sea roughly 300 nautical miles from the city of Zhoushan in China’s eastern Zhejiang Province, and officials are still trying to find its owner.
Zhe Dai 03158, the gillnet boat that found it, had been at sea for 10 days when skipper Wang Weiping and his crew came across the red and white cruise ship bearing the name DREAM and KANZAM EKSPRES1.
They tried to hail the eerily silent vessel and also sounded their horn, but no response came from the ship, which they eventually boarded and found to be completely empty.
Wang said the vessel was “very luxurious” inside, and he found no reason as to why it would be unmanned. There were also no bloodstains or signs of struggle, he added.
In the cabin, he founded a name card appearing to trace the vessel’s origins to South Korean firm Daea Express Shipping Co., Ltd., which used the ship to ferry passengers between the south-eastern city of Busan and the nearby Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka.
Wang reported the discovery to maritime authorities, and his small fishing boat has been ordered to tow it back to Zhoushan’s Shenjiamen Fishing Port.
However, the slow fishing vessel which is normally only capable of a modest 11 knots is now having to haul the cruise ship at just 3 knots back to port.
Meanwhile, the mystery behind the ghost ship’s origins continue to deepen as a spokesperson for Daea Express Shipping has said none of its vessels was missing.
They claim to have sold DREAM to a Malaysian company many years ago, which appears to explain the identifications KANZAM EKSPRES1 and PORT KLANG on the back of the liner – referring to the port town in Malaysia’s south-western state of Selangor.
According to Chinese media, the ship – a Mitsubishi Super Shuttle 400 – is now named KANZAM EKSPRES1 and has previously been known as DREAM, DREAM FLOWER and RAINBOW.
Some media reported it had been on its way to Malaysia from South Korean when the tugboat pulling it lost it when the rope snapped. It had been floating around in the East China Sea ever since.
Officials are still waiting for the vessel to arrive to continue inspections.
Picture Credit: AsiaWire