Mysterious, Abandoned Oil Tanker Washes Up on Beach
No one knows where its crew is
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2016 4:59 PM CDT
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A 210-foot-long oil tanker washed up on the shores of Africa this week; its crew was nowhere to be found. The Guardian reports the abandoned ship, the Tamaya 1, is now the subject of an investigation to find out what happened. The tanker, registered in Panama, was supposed to be en route to Dakar in Senegal. Instead, it was discovered grounded in Liberia. The ship's crew and lifeboats were all missing. According to the Liberian Daily Observer, it took the Liberian government two days to realize the ship was there. “What about the Coast Guard officers whose duty is to know about ships that enter Liberian territorial waters?” a resident tells the Daily Observer. “This is all the more worrisome for some of us—that our security apparatus should be ready at all times and not be sleeping after something huge has happened.”

Liberian authorities inspected the Tamaya 1 on Thursday. A source with the National Port Authority says officials believe the tanker's owner went broke, and the crew left the ship when it became clear they weren't going to be paid. But others speculate pirates or a fire may have forced the crew to escape the ship. There are reports the Tamaya 1 was looted and vandalized in the days before the government arrived to inspect it, according to the Maritime Express.