U.S.

U.S. Coast Guards sunk a ghost ship that has been adrift since the tsunami struck Japan last March. Photo credit: Screen shot from AP Video

A ghost ship that has been adrift since the tsunami struck Japan last year, has been shot up and sunken by U.S. Coast Guard cannon fire.

The 164-foot-long ship has been drifting at sea since the triple disaster struck Japan last March.

Authorities sunk the unmanned vessel on Thursday, which was floating in the Gulf of Alaska, in an effort to prevent it from causing a hazard to other vessels in the area, according to the Associated Press. The ship reportedly had no lights and communication system.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley told NewsCore the ship sank at around 6:15 p.m. Alaska time, according to the New York Post.

The Coast Guard has told the media that there was light fuel sheen on the water. However, they expect it to quickly clear up. They also said there was a small amount of floating debris where the vessel sank.

Reports are that the ship had entered heavily trafficked waters that are traversed by large cargo vessels and tankers travel from North America to Asia.

It's less risky than it would be running into shore or running into (maritime) traffic, Coast Guard spokesman Paul Webb told the AP.

 Watch the video below from the AP.