Mystery of ghost tanker that drifts ashore minus crew

The Panama flagged oil tanker Tamaya 1 has strangely drifted ashore on a beach near Robertsport on the northern Liberia coast on 4 May. There is no sign of its captain or crew.

According to MarineTraffic, the vessel’s last known position was recorded on 22 April 22 2016 as the ship was steaming southward at 0.7 knots towards Senegal after leaving the port of Dakar in Senegal.

Currently theories range from abandonment to piracy, although Tamaya 1’s last known position was well north of active Gulf of Guinea pirate groups who typically stick to the waters off Nigeria.

The Liberia national police and bureau of immigration inspected the ship, days after local residents first discovered it on the beach.

Local reports cite a source in Liberia’s port authority who said the vessel’s owner might have had no money to pay crew members.

“Our best bet is that the vessel’s owner might have gone broke and had no money to pay crew members,” a source at the nation’s port authority told the Liberian Daily Observer. “And therefore, the crew abandoned the ship.”

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