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.
In a statement sent to the media, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada, port authority president and CEO Sean Hanrahan said the 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 berth at a St. John’s Port Authority facility again is meant to avoid more of the same, Hanrahan states.
Oil company still helping out
The Lyubov Orlova is now about 180 kilometres North of St. John’s, in the Flemish Pass area, under tow of the offshore supply vessel Atlantic Hawk, according to the previous contractor for the supply vessel, Husky Energy.
The Atlantic Hawk was offered up to Transport Canada to tow the Orlova away from the province’s oil-producing offshore installations on Wednesday.
The ship had passed 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 ship to be pulled north and avoid incoming bad weather forecasted for the area.
The Atlantic Hawk will be trading off its mission to a separate vessel contracted by Transport Canada — the Maersk Challenger — later today, said Husky spokeswoman Colleen McConnell, who spoke with The Telegram this morning.
“She sailed from St. John’s last night,” she added.
McConnell said Transport Canada has not said where it ultimately plans to bring the Orlova.
Second vessel under tow
Meanwhile, last night a second supply vessel being used by Husky — the Maersk Chancellor — was en route back to St. John’s when it was reportedly tasked by the coast guard to help a fishing vessel in distress.
The Telegram has contacted both the coast guard and the joint rescue centre in Halifax seeking details on the rescue.
The Husky spokeswoman said the fishing vessel was the Cape Dorset and it has been successfully placed under tow about 75 kilometres from St. John’s.
The two ships are now headed back to St. John’s harbour and expected to arrive in port around 5 p.m. today.
There has been no word on the reason the tow was required.
The Telegram will have more as it becomes available.