United Kingdom | A large cargo ship originating from West Africa has the British authorities on high alert as it is approaching the South coast of Britain. All 17 crew members of the Guinean Luck are reported to have died from the Ebola hemorrhagic fever and the presence of thousands of rats possibly infected with the disease aboard the ship could represent a major threat for the British population.
The ship left Sierra Leone on July 13 2015 in destination of Portugal. Six days after leaving, the captain of the ship reported in a radio communication that three of the crew members were beginning to show distressing symptoms that suggested they could be infected with Ebola and that the ship was changing course to head towards Morocco to get medical help. This was the last time that the crew was heard of, and all 17 men on board are presumed to have died.
The ship could now pose an important threat to the British public, as the ship is believed to be infested with thousands of starving rats possibly carrying the Ebola virus. Many of the witnesses who came across the ship over the last months, have indeed reported seeing the rodents feeding off the crew’s bodies as the ship went by. Experts fear that these animals could now spread the disease to humans and other animals on the continent, creating an uncontrollable Ebola pandemic in the UK.
The Guinean Luck has been reported multiple times, drifting away slowly along the seas towards the UK. It has been sighted almost a dozen times since November 2015, by various ships sailing north of Portugal. It was last reported to have been seen by fishermen, only a few nautical miles North of Portugal.
Despite their efforts, the British authorities have not been able to locate the ghost ship, but some recent satellite pictures showing the ship have enabled them to narrow the search area to approximately 400 square nautical miles (nearly 1375 km² or 530 square mile). A total of 324 coast guard ships and 32 helicopters have already been affected to the search operations, forming the largest search force ever created by the UK coast guard.
“We are determined to protect the British population from this unique threat” says coast guard commander, James Fitzgerald. “There is no way we are going to let those disease-ridden rats set foot in the UK. We’re going to find that ship and we’re going to have to sink it!”
Experts and analysts estimate that the ship’s actual course and speed will bring it to land or be washed ashore in Southern Britain over the next weeks, anywhere between the Penzance and Salcombe areas. The authorities remain confident however, that the ship will be found and sunk before it reaches the coast.