Tag Archives: Ryou-Un Maru

What about 200 rounds of 25mm will do

The Japanese ghost ship, former squid fishing trawler the 164-foot Ryou-Un Maru, after she was on the bad end of a one-way shootout with the coast guard cutter USCGC Anacapa, a 110-foot Island Class patrol Boat about 180 miles off the Alaska Coast

Now THATS Homeland Security ! ( USCG D17 photo)

The  Ryou-Un Maru, a possibly radioactive derelict has been afloat on a lonely 4000+ mile, 51-week journey across the Pacific since being swept to sea unmanned and empty after last years Tsunami in Japan.

She is now in 6,072  feet of water

USCG news release-
JUNEAU, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa successfully sank the derelict fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru 180 miles west of the Southeast Alaskan coast today at 6:15 p.m.

The Anacapa crew began its operation to sink the vessel at approximately 1 p.m. and completed two gunnery evolutions shooting highly explosive ammunition into the vessel until it sank in 6,072 feet of water.

“For the safety of mariners, sinking the vessel was the quickest way to properly address the danger this unattended vessel posed,” said Capt. Daniel Travers, Coast Guard District 17 Incident Manager. “The Anacapa crew did an outstanding job safely completing their mission.”

The Coast Guard worked closely with federal, state and local agencies to assess the immediate dangers the vessel presented and determined that sinking the vessel at sea would be the best course of action to help minimize any navigation and environmental threats. Light sheening and minimal debris have been reported from the sinking of the vessel, and the sheening is expected to quickly dissipate at sea.

USN Data sheet on the Mk38 25mm gun
MK 38 – 25 mm machine gun system

25mm cannon. The Army uses the same gun on the Bradley fighting vehicle. The USN and USCG use it for small-boat defense (say against attacking Iranian speedboats etc) .....from the look of the picture above, id say it works.

The MK-38 is a 25-mm machine gun, with an effective range of 2,000 yards (Mod 2).

The MK 38 was first employed aboard combatant and auxiliary ships conducting Mid-East Force escort operations and during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. MK 38 Mod 1s are maintained in a rotatable pool for temporary installation aboard deployed ships. Following the October 2000 attack on USS Cole (DDG 67), Task Force Hip Pocket identified an improved MK 38 Machine Gun System (MGS) as a means to increase shipboard self defense against small boat threats. In 2003, the Chief of Naval Operations documented the requirement and directed the development and fielding of the MK 38 Mod 2. Installed aboard CG, DDG, FFG, LSD, LPD, LHD, LHA, LCC, PC, OSV, and USCG FRC class ships and planned for installation aboard CVN, AS, and MK VI class ships, the MK 38 Mod 2 MGS is a low cost, stabilized self defense weapon system that dramatically improves shipboard self defense.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: (Mod 1) Single barrel, air cooled, semi- and full-automatic, manually trained and elevated machine gun system.
Contractor: Contractor Mod 1: Designed and assembled by Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center; components procured from various contractors.
Date Deployed: 1986.
Contractor Mod 2: BAE Systems Minneapolis, MN; Rafael, Haifa, Israel.
Date Deployed: 2005; 166 systems installed as of Oct. 2011.
Date Deployed: 1986.
Range: 2000 yards (effective range)
Type Fire: Single shot; 180 rounds per minute automatic.
Caliber: 25 mm (1 inch).
Guidance System: Mod 1: N/A,unstabilized, manually trained and elevated.

Coast Guard Sinks Ghost Ship

Ryou-Un Maru was a peaceful 164-foot fishing boat in Japan on April 10, 2011. She was old, obsolete, and was tied up waiting to go for the scrapyard and be cut up.

Or so was the plan.

Then on April 11th, the Fukushima earthquake hit and the resulting tsunami swept the ship out to sea. For the past 51 weeks the ship, without a crew, without any power, without any lights, drifted silent and dead across the emptiness of the Northern Pacific Ocean. It continued its trip for more than 4,000 miles, covering an average of 12-miles per day, some days more, some days less. The old girl needed some time alone to herself.

Ryou-Un Maru (USCG photo)
Lonely ghost ship of the Pacific

At the end of March 2012, the USCG and its Canadian counterpart began tracking the ghost ship more than 200 miles offshore of the coast of Alaska. To monitor its position a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Kodiak located the ship and dropped a self locating data marker buoy alongside it. Over the past week it drifted about 25-nm per day until finally on April 5 it was some 170nm offshore of Sitka in the Gulf of Alaska. A 62-foot Canadian trawler tried to salvage her but didn’t have the brawn to tote the ship back to shore, finders keepers indeed.


The unmanned Japanese fishing vessel Ryou-un Maru dirfts northwest approximately 164 miles southwest of Baranof Island April 4, 2012. (USCG photo)

Early Coast Guard cutters in the time before the 1920s were often classified as ‘derelict destroyers’. For this mission, which consisted of sinking ghost ships and partially submerged wrecks, they were given small 6pdr cannon and lots of ammunition.

USCGC Anacapa, by flickr user gilfoto

Meet today’s modern derelict destroyer, the 110-foot Island class patrol boat USCGC Anacapa  homeported in Petersburg, Alaska. Assigned to Sector Juneau the Anacapa sank the wayward Ryou-Un Maru today with naval gunfire in deep water. Her weapon of choice, the Mk38 25mm cannon on her forward deck like a hood ornament (its under the blue cover)

Always Ready!