Abandon Ship! (Japanese: すてられ船！しのびよる影！！The Abandoned Ship! The Creeping Shadow!!) is the 32nd episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 306th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 3, 2003 and in the United States on May 15, 2004.
Ash and the gang are headed for Slateport City in a motorboat so that May can try her hand at a Pokémon Contest. Team Rocket is on board, disguised as sailors, and after a failed attempt at capturing Pikachu, they exit the scene in their normal fashion. Unfortunately, now the boat won't start up. Ash and company are drifting at sea when they discover a large, seemingly abandoned ship. They notice that a small boat is along side the ship, so at least one other person must be on board.
They soon meet up with Tommy, who explains that he lost his Marshtomp on the ship a long time ago. He offers to give them a lift back to shore after he's done searching. Later on, Torchic suddenly disappears, and Team Rocket, who also arrived on the ship, find they are missing Meowth. Shortly afterwards, Max, James, May, Jessie, and Wobbuffet are also captured. They end up all tied up and hanging upside down thanks to some handy work by a Spinarak and a Swampert.
Ash, Brock, Pikachu, and the boy are still looking for everyone when Swampert emerges and Tommy recognizes it as his Marshtomp. The Swampert runs away and they follow it, find the others and free them. The boy apologizes for losing Swampert and boy and Pokémon are happily reunited. Team Rocket makes another futile attempt at catching Pikachu and is sent blasting off again. The gang leaves in Tommy's boat, headed towards Slateport City.
Aboard a boat, Brock announces to his friends that their next stop is Slateport City followed by Mauville City. Max adds that Mauville also has a Gym, and Ash declares that he cannot wait for the battle. However, the group are unaware that the vessel is being captained by Team Rocket in an elaborate ploy to steal Pikachu. James soon stops the boat, while a disguisedJessie offers everyone free sandwiches and cold drinks. Brock commends the pair on their quality service, and Pikachu also gets a treat. As Pikachu takes his first bite, James brings down a rubber bag onto him, making Ash and his friends gasp. Team Rocket reveal themselves and recite their motto, with Meowth resurfacing in their Magikarp submarine to say his line and help his teammates make a their getaway. Ash sends out his Corphish, which slices the rubber bag open, setting Pikachu free. Jessie reacts by calling out her Seviper to use Poison Tail. Corphish dodges Seviper's attack and uses Crabhammer, knocking the Fang Snake Pokémon out cold. May has her Beautifly whip up a powerful Gust, blowing Jessie, James and Seviper into their submarine. Ash ends the situation by throwing Pikachu into the air and Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, sending Team Rocket blasting off as they complain about the money they wasted on the boat and the snacks.
But Ash and his friends are faced with more problems: the boat is out of gas and they have no radio. The vessel drifts with the sea currents into some dense fog and towards a creepy Abandoned Ship stuck among some large rocks. As they go aboard, May starts doing a make-believe news show as they explore the deck, only to realize they're not alone as they see another boat anchored near the starboard bow. The owner of the other boat soon appears on the deck and introduces himself as Tommy. Brock explains their boat ran out of gas and they drifted towards the ship. Tommy reveals he came to investigate the ship in the hopes that it could be moved, saying it is now called the "Forsaken Ship" because the coastguard left it in place. He explains that all of the passengers, including himself, evacuated the ship safely after it crashed, however he lost his Marshtomp which he now hopes to find. Ash checks Marshtomp on his Pokédex and learns that it's the evolved form of Mudkip. Tommy promises to give the group a ride to the nearest port after he's through exploring the ship. As the friends wait, they enjoy some drinks and snacks provided by Tommy and enjoy the sun as the fog lifts. But as Pikachu and May's Torchic eat some Pokémon food, Torchic notices a door edge open and something move in the darkness. Curious, Torchic approaches and immediately vanishes. Tommy shows up and learns what's happened, and then suggests they split up to find Torchic.
Meanwhile, below deck in the stern of the ship, Team Rocket, who coincidentally landed in the ship, wake up groaning before starting to look for a way out. Meowth wanders into a room by himself and vanishes. At the same time, the group and Tommy are looking for Torchic below deck. Max has his back to a flooded hole in the floor and screams as he is dragged underwater, with his sister and the others taking notice. Max later wakes up to find himself suspended off the floor next to Torchic and Meowth, who are also prisoners. At the same time, May, Ash, Brock and Tommy are looking through a corridor and notice a door open at the opposite end only to see that it is a Marill and a pair of Azurill, who bounce past them casually. Brock realizes that the ship must be their home. Meanwhile, Max suggests Meowth use Fury Swipes to get loose. Meowth complains that he can't move, but Max answwers the problem by pointing out he can use his foot claws. After Max makes a deal to cut Meowth down in exchange for his own freedom, Meowth promptly swings and slashes Max's restraints. Max then proceeds to get Torchic down, much to Meowth's annoyance. However the escape is thwarted by a Spinarak, who uses String Shot to retie Max up and hang him from the ceiling. Meowth laughs at Max's failure before deliberately knocking into him and Torchic to annoy them.
As Jessie and James search the ship's corridors for Meowth, a Golduck leaps out of a crate, scaring them before casually strutting by. Jessie yells at it and walks ahead as James is grabbed from behind and his muffled screams for help go unheard. James is then held alongside Max, Meowth and Torchic. Meowth then tries to cut James down, ignoring Max's pleas for help. Max swings into them, ruining the escape attempt as they all scream in annoyance. At the same time, May is also taken as she's pulled into the water by an unseen assailant. Brock sends his Mudkip to find her, but it reports back that May has vanished. Tommy declares that someone doesn't appreciate them being on the ship by one bit with Brock figuring out that they're being picked off one by one. May is hung with the other captives. Max makes light of the situation by saying they still have three buddies out there while Meowth and James only have Jessie, but both scoff and have no doubts Jessie will successfully come to their rescue. At the moment, Jessie is looking for her friends, a little scared of being alone and is startled by a Wooper, which she yells at. But the assailant captures her as well. Jessie is put with the others, much to the disappointment of Meowth and James. When Max and May poke a little fun at her, Jessie, in no mood for a joke, angrily slams into them, which sets off tensions with the rest of the captives. Wobbuffet pops out of his Poké Ball, but ends up being strung up as well and Jessie remarks that it is useless.
Ash, Brock, Tommy and Pikachu are still looking for their friends as a blue flipper-like hand reaches out from the water to grab Pikachu. Pikachu notices and attacks the hand with electricity, alerting the boys. The assailant burst from the water, revealing itself to be a Swampert. Ash looks it up on the Pokédex and Tommy gasps as he believes the Swampert and his missing Marshtomp might be one and the same. The angry Swampert rounds a corner before diving into the water, but Ash and the others follow regardless. Mudkip leads Brock and others directly to an unlocked room, and inside they discover Swampert standing in front of its captives. Brock tells Mudkip to cut the threads with Water Gun, but Swampert launches a warning Mud Shot before Mudkip can do anything. Ash sends out Corphish to battle Swampert. Corphish employs Crabhammer, but Swampert easily dodges and uses Iron Tail, much to the surprise of Tommy. Ash recalls Corphish and is about to have Pikachu battle, but Tommy stops them, saying he's sure that Swampert evolved from his Marshtomp, reasoning that he raised it since it was a little baby.
Tommy approaches Swampert and tries to say hello. Swampert, however, lashes out with a Mud Shot, but Tommy isn't fazed. Tommy openly realizes that Swampert is angry because of its abandonment as a Marshtomp, and it has since grown to hate. Swampert's threatening growls seem to support this theory. Tommy tells Swampert that he never meant for it to be left behind when the ship ran aground and assumed that it was safe in its Poké Ball. Tommy tells it to try and remember how they were always training together, recalling the time it evolved into a Marshtomp and when it was first practicing its Iron Tail technique. Tommy, with rejoiced eyes, admits he came back to the ship to get Swampert. Swampert, having calmed down and remembered, approaches it Trainer. Tommy hugs it again and apologizes for leaving it before asking if they can be a team again. Swampert happily agrees. Everyone is released as Max compliments Tommy's Swampert, who apologizes for the trouble it caused. Team Rocket now set their sights on Swampert, with Jessie sending out Seviper. Tommy and Swampert, now a team again, easily knocking Seviper down and sending Team Rocket blasting off with a Hydro Pump. Up on deck as the sun sets, Tommy announces that since the ship has become a home for a lot of Water-type Pokémon and is like a rest stop for migrating Pokémon, he and Swampert are going to fix it up. And the next day, Tommy and Swampert give the friends the ride to Slateport City that he promised, with May and Ash looking forward to the next ventures.
When May is holding Beautifly's Poké Ball up to the camera, her glove is missing. When she moves her hand off and on the screen again to throw the Ball, her glove is suddenly present again.
When Max wakes up, finding himself captured in Spinarak's String Shot along with May's Torchic and Meowth, they seemed to be at least ten feet in the air. However, when Meowth cuts Max loose, Meowth and Torchic seem to be low enough for Max to reach them. This was repeatedly shown throughout the episode as the captured were shown again and again to be at least ten feet in the air.