FEARS that a ghost ship full of disease ridden cannibal rats could crash into the Cornish coastline have been "exaggerated” according to Falmouth coastguard.
The abandoned Lyubov Orlova has been missing for over a year since it was cut adrift while being towed from Canada.
Based on emergency beacons aboard the ship, it is said to be heading towards the shore of Cornwall, Devon, Scotland or Ireland.
But a spokesman from Falmouth Coastguard said today: “We believe that report may be slightly exaggerated,” and it may miss the coast altogether.
Those searching for the ship said the 40-year-old. 4,250-ton hulk is likely to be filled with disease ridden cannibal rats with no source of food but each other.
A Belgian searcher Pim de Rhodes told The Sun newspaper: “he is floating around out there somewhere.
"There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other.
"If I get aboard I'll have to lace everywhere with poison."
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency press office issued the following statement: "The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has received no sightings of the former Soviet cruise ship 'Lyubov Orlova' since April last year and there is no evidence to suggest it is still afloat.
"Any 'ghost' ship entering European waters is highly likely to be reported due to the large number of vessels passing through the area. We would then act accordingly."