A Japanese "ghost ship" which was washed out to sea in last year's tsunami disaster has been sunk by the US Coast Guard near Alaska.
Cannon fire from a cutter was unleashed on the unmanned 164ft vessel amid concerns it was a collision risk to other ships.
The armour-piercing ammunition punctured the hull and caused it to burst into flames and take on water, the Coast Guard said.
It was later seen listing some 170 miles from the Alaskan coast before it sank in 6,000ft of water.
The operation was overseen by a circling C-130 aircraft and the hulk took about four hours to sink from view.
Plans to send Ryou-Un Maru to the sea bed had earlier been put on hold because a Canadian salvage boat was nearby.
The ship's Japanese owner earlier said it did not want to salvage the vessel, which was among the 1.5 million tons of debris estimated to have been dragged out to sea by the tsunami.
Most of the debris is expected to hit US coastlines in 2013 or later but some items - including buoys - have already washed ashore in parts of Alaska.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration previously warned the ship, which had no lights and was loaded possibly with thousands of gallons of diesel, could have been hit by other vessels.
There were also fears it would run aground if left to drift.