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Tsunami ship becomes hazard in Alaskan waters April 03,2012   |  Source: AP

A derelict Japanese ship dislodged by last year's massive tsunami was drifting toward Alaska, the US Coast Guard said.

The shrimping vessel was floating slowly northwest in the Gulf of Alaska about 201 kilometres west of the nearest point of land Forrester Island outside the Dixon Entrance, a maritime transportation corridor separating US and Canada jurisdictions. The ship is heading in the direction of the southeast Alaska town of Sitka 273 kilometres to the north, travelling at about less than a kilometres per hour, Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley said.

There are no immediate concerns regarding the community of about 9,000, however. Mosley said the town is just a reference point at this time and that currents could always change.

"Our main concern is maritime traffic," he said. "We're trying to minimize any safety concerns, alerting vessels. We don't want any vessels to run into it."

A Coast Guard C-130 was heading to the ship to pinpoint the exact location and check if a data buoy was successfully dropped on it Saturday.

The vessel has been adrift since it was launched by the tsunami caused by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake that struck Japan last year. About 5 million tonnes of debris were swept into the ocean by the tsunami.

The ship has been identified as

 

© 2012, APN Holdings NZ Limited

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