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Russian Ghost Ship Probably Sank, Coastguard Says

A Russian ship that was feared to be heading for the British and Irish coasts with a crew of hundreds of rats is likely on the bottom of the Atlantic, a news report said.

MV Lyubov Orlova disappeared last winter off the coast of Newfoundland after it drifted free when being towed to the scrap yard.

The ship has been sighted several times since, and earlier this week British tabloid The Sun claimed it could have crossed the ocean, driven by a storm.

The 4,250-ton cruise liner has no crew except rats, which would have had to resort to cannibalism to survive, the report claimed.

But a months-long search that employed satellites and aircraft turned up no evidence that the Lyubov Orlova is still above the water, the Independent reported Saturday, citing an Irish coast guard.

"Our professional belief is that it has sunk. We've discussed it with the U.K. and Norway and Iceland and we're all pretty happy that it has probably sunk," Chris Reynolds of the Irish Coast Guard was cited as saying.

The ship is worth up to $1 million as scrap metal, reports said earlier.

The Lyubov Orlova, named after a sex symbol of Stalin-era Soviet cinema, was launched in 1976 and refitted in 1998 for voyages in the Antarctic.

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