Empty cruise ship drifting off Newfoundland raises safety, environmental alarms

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - There are growing safety and environmental concerns as an empty former cruise ship drifts toward the open sea off Newfoundland.

The Lyubov (LOO-bov) Orlova, a 237-passenger vessel, has been adrift since its tow line snapped last week as it was being pulled to the Dominican Republic for scrap.

Transport Canada ordered the tug boat Charlene Hunt back to St. John's, N.L., over safety concerns and is now inspecting it.

Oceana, billed as the world's largest international group for ocean conservation, is raising concerns about pollution if the ship goes down.

Transport Canada says the vessel is at least 90 kilometres off Newfoundland and is not interfering with navigation.

It says the ship's owner, an Iranian scrap merchant who is now in the Dominican Republic, is responsible for its safety at sea.

Organizations: Dominican Republic, Transport Canada

Geographic location: Newfoundland, ST. JOHN'S

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