Sailors stumble on ‘ghost ship’ drifting in Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles from land


Matt Rutherford and a colleague from the Ocean Research Project were sailing in the Atlantic Ocean in 2013 when they made a startling discovery: an abandoned ship floating some 800 miles beyond Bermuda.

Earlier this week, the Ocean Research Project released a video showing what happened when Mr Rutherford and his colleague spotted the boat and moved closer to investigate the situation.

“This is one awfully abandoned sailboat,” Mr Rutherford is heard saying in the footage.

Mr Rutherford decided to to go and see if there was anybody on the boat, saying he hoped he wouldn’t “find any dead bodies or anything.”

The interior of the boat, with personal effects strewn about (The Daily Mail/Matt Rutherford)
The interior of the boat, with personal effects strewn about (The Daily Mail/Matt Rutherford)

He did not find anyone on the boat dead or alive, and instead was left to wonder how an upscale boat that presumably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars new came to be completely abandoned and left floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

“This is absolutely crazy by the way,” Mr Rutherford says in the video. “800 miles from Bermuda, 1,500 miles from the US, standing on a very nice Swan 48, in the middle of the ocean.”

The boat appeared to have been abandoned quickly. When Mr Rutherford and his colleague came aboard and began looking around, they found clothes and other personal belongings were strewn about the main cabin. Mr Rutherford and his colleague initially tried to tow the boat with them, but only made it 50 miles before realising they needed to cut the other boat loose.

The Daily Mail reported that certain online aficionados believe that Mr Rutherford’s colleague on the journey was Alan McGettigan of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, though that detail is as of now unconfirmed.

Nearly a decade after the discovery of the boat, little remains known about how or why it came to be abandoned in the middle of the ocean.

Published by anthonyhayble

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