The US Coast Guard used cannon to sink a crewless Japanese ship that was drifting off Alaska. The Canadian and US Coast Guards tracked the 200ft Japanese fishing trawler Ryou-un Maru (pictured), which is said to be the first large piece of drifting debris generated by last year’s Fukushima earthquake and tsunami to have reached the eastern Pacific.

The derelict vessel was first spotted in mid-March by the Canadian Coast Guard off the coast of British Columbia, but ocean currents took it to within 180 miles west of Southeast Alaska, where it became a hazard to coastal shipping. The USCG dropped a data marker buoy close by to provide real time location updates before the vessel was intentionally sunk by the 110ft USCG cutter Anacapa in April.

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