UPDATE: MV Lyubov Orlova adrift once again

Staff ~ The Telegram
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MV Lyubov Orlova was towed out of St. John's harbour on Jan. 23

The MV Lyubov Orlova is at the mercy of the ocean currents once again.

The Orlova has a Twitter account! Sample here.

The derelict Russian cruise ship was undertow by the offshore supply vessel Atlantic Hawk after it drifted too close to the Hibernia platform. But now Transport Canada is reporting that, in consultation with its partners, it has been decided not to pursue the drifting vessel as there are no people aboard the ship and there was a serious concern for the safety of Canadian sailors involved in the salvage operation, given the weather and dangerous sea conditions.

Whether this means that the tow line broke, as happened previously when the ship was undertow by the tugboat Charlene Hunt, or the towline was cut intentionally remains unclear.

Transport Canada further reports that the Lyubov Orlova no longer poses a threat to the safety of offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment. They say the vessel has drifted into international waters and given current patterns and predominant winds, it is very unlikely that the vessel will re-enter waters under Canadian jurisdiction. As of yesterday evening, the ship was located located approx. 250 nautical miles east of St. John’s, NL (approx. 50 nautical miles outside Canada’s territorial waters) and was drifting Northeasterly.

Transport Canada says it has informed the international shipping community, the owner of the vessel and the flag state of the current status of the vessel and they say the owner of the vessel remains responsible for its movements.

Measures have been taken to ensure monitoring of the vessel.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, to investigate the initial incident involving the tug boat Charlene Hunt and the cruise ship MV Lyubov Orlova. The Orlova broke free of its tow line shortly after being towed out of St. John's harbour on Jan. 23 while en route to the Dominican Republic and went adrift. The TSB says it will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Earlier story (By Ashley Fitzpatrick):

The ship that barely floats is becoming the story that won’t sink.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) says it is deploying a team of investigators to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, to investigate the incident involving the tug boat Charlene Hunt and the cruise ship MV Lyubov Orlova. The Orlova broke free of its tow line while en route to the Dominican Republic and went adrift. The TSB says it will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Meanwhile, the St. John’s Port Authority says the former cruise ship Lyubov Orlova will not be allowed to berth in St. John’s harbour when and if she is brought back to shore in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Port authority president and CEO Sean Hanrahan stated the Lyubov Orlova was “abandoned” for the last two and a half years, resulting in “significant financial loss to the St. John’s Port Authority.”

Not allowing the ship to tie up again at a St. John’s Port Authority facility is meant to avoid more of the same, Hanrahan said.

As of mid-day Friday, the Orlova was about 180 kilometres North of St. John’s, in the Flemish Pass area, under tow by the offshore supply vessel Atlantic Hawk. The offshore service and supply vessel was offered up by Husky Energy to Transport Canada to tow the ship, to take it away from the province’s oil-producing offshore installations on Wednesday.

The Lyubov Orlova had floated past the Hibernia platform and was about 50 kilometres from the SeaRose FPSO when oil companies operating offshore, in collaboration with federal officials, collectively decided to arrange for the old ferry to be pulled north and avoid incoming bad weather forecast for the area.

The Atlantic Hawk traded off its tug mission to a separate vessel contracted by Transport Canada — the Maersk Challenger — later in the day Friday.

A spokeswoman with Husky Energy, Colleen McConnell, confirmed the handoff, saying she did not know the final destination of the Orlova.

Second boat towed

Meanwhile, a second supply vessel being used by Husky was called on to place a disabled fishing vessel under tow.

The Maersk Chancellor was on route back to St. John’s overnight Thursday when it was  tasked by the coast guard to help the fishing vessel Cape Dorset, found about 75 kilometres from St. John’s.

There were no injuries or immediate concerns for the health of the 19 people on board the boat, according to Maj. Martell Thompson at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, but the boat did need assistance getting back to port.

The Maersk Chancellor met up with the 40-metre-long boat at about 3:30 a.m. and waited until light.

Both ships arrived back in St. John’s around 4:30 p.m.



Organizations: Port Authority, Husky Energy, Transport Canada Hibernia Maersk Joint Rescue Coordination Centre

Geographic location: Flemish Pass, Canada, Cape Dorset Halifax

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Recent comments

  • marinelaw@msn.com
    June 06, 2014 - 15:44

    Seaman, Why do you say that guy is 100% Pirate? I'm interested. My email is marinelaw@msn.com

  • asymonds
    March 23, 2013 - 09:54


  • Keith
    March 13, 2013 - 20:48

    Well the lyuova is gone but now we got the Charlene hunt there in its place pretty ironic hey

    • seaman
      March 21, 2013 - 16:03

      Same owner.

    • seaman
      March 22, 2013 - 10:01

      Emilio Tsokopoulos,is with the Orlova,100% PIRATE.

  • Nancy Petersen
    February 10, 2013 - 00:51

    hi..... on cbc radios program "as it happens" it was mentioned that perhaps there should be a search for the lyubo orolova theme song........and then the hosts played a song.....where the main sung line was ....have you seen my ghost..... if you know who the artist is or what the song is who sang this song.....i missed it.....please let me know.....thanks alot

    • Ian
      February 13, 2013 - 22:36

      I think an investigation is desperately needed here. Something is fishy about this whole story and Transport Canada's role in it. BTW, the song you like, Nancy, is called Weighty Ghost, by Wintersleep, from Halifax no less.

  • lynda
    February 08, 2013 - 18:14

    I for one, hopes that someone will see the potential in the Lyubov Orlova...she looked to be a good seafaring vessel... I hope someone with lots of money can put her back in service where she belongs, (if she still exists out there). That vessel fell into the hands of idiots, that was her only crime.

  • George
    February 04, 2013 - 09:48

    Obviously the wrong tug was initially hired for the job during winter and especially to start the tow out with the forecast they had. TC St. John's inspectors are very thorough when inspecting Canadian owned Tugs and I'm sure they would have stalled the Lyubov Orlova's departure until all conditions were suitable had regulations allowed them the authority to do so with foreign owned vessels. Great decision on their part to order the Charlene Hunt back into port. The Crew probably have TC St. John's inspectors to thank for still being alive. As for the Lyubov Orlova, drifting is free (after Canadian taxpayers stopped paying to save it). When it get across the pond it will most likely be towed in for scrap there or rebuilt to live another life like so many other ships saved from the scrap pile.

  • RJ
    February 03, 2013 - 18:49

    Crap I missed out on cleaning out my garage like the port auth & city !How many old mattresses and appliances are going to the bottom of the Atlantic with Miss Orlova? ;)

  • RJ
    February 03, 2013 - 17:06

    Crap I have a old washer n dryer I could have thrown on Miss Orlova before the "Old Hunt" set out for the sinking!!!!

  • RJ
    February 03, 2013 - 17:01

    Port Auth losing money on docking fees so they sent it out to sink..crap to bad I could have loaded up some old crap with my pick up & dropped off before the "Old Hunt" started the trip to DR...er ahem maybe "Lady Remmy" is next!!!

  • canadafirstaid
    February 03, 2013 - 15:01


  • Bill
    February 02, 2013 - 10:43

    This whole thing is such a farce. To send that small tug out to the North Atlantic this time of year and expect it to tow the Orlova all the way to the Dominican Republic. I think the intention all along was to get this thing out of our port and set it adrift with the hopes it will sink.

  • Sparky
    February 02, 2013 - 10:20

    If this piece-of-trash ties up in St.Johns Harbour again,the Tax payers of St.Johns should refuse to pay taxes until this trash is thrown-out in da-bay.If a family fell on hard times, they would get no breaks on taxes!,but yet with all the time & money that has been spent on this crap,it`ll get a pardon. We knew it was coming back when the crew {kids in the hall},forgot to untie all the ropes of the boat before it left. I would`nt tow da-wifes car across NL with a clothesline,but those SEAFAREING MEN tried to tow a ship with clothesline across the Atlantic! LOL

  • Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum
    February 02, 2013 - 09:49

    Correct me if I am wrong, but an abandonded ship can be boarded by anyone and claimed by anyone. Much like "finders keepers" on shore. If so, why don't the Port Authority take it themselves and sell it for scrap.