Allowing Russian cruise ship to drift in Atlantic irresponsible, Opposition says

The Canadian Press
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Lyubov Orlova — Telegram file photo

 OTTAWA — The federal Opposition says it is irresponsible of Canada to abandon a derelict Russian cruise ship that’s now drifting in the North Atlantic.

NDP transport critic Olivia Chow said that Transport Canada never should have allowed the Lyubov Orlova to be towed out of port in St. John’s, N.L., in the dead of winter.

“Just because the ship is now drifting in international waters, it’s still the Canadian government that gave it the authority to tow the ship,” Chow said in an interview.

The empty, 237-passenger cruise ship was being pulled to the Dominican Republic for scrap when its tow line snapped in rough seas on Jan. 23.

Efforts to reattach the cable failed, and Transport Canada ordered the tugboat Charlene Hunt back to port a few days later.

An offshore supply ship from Husky Energy was sent to tow the Lyubov Orlova away from oil platforms last week, and Transport Canada issued a statement Saturday saying the vessel had drifted into international waters.

The release said the ship was not expected to re-enter Canadian waters and Transport Canada would not be pursuing the vessel, adding that the owners of the ship remain responsible for its movements.

Transport Canada did not return messages seeking comment.

The Transportation Safety Board sent two investigators to St. John’s last week, but has not yet committed to a formal investigation into how the vessel broke free from the tugboat.

Chow said the federal Conservatives have a history of washing its hands of orphaned vessels, citing the case of the MV Miner off Nova Scotia.

The bulk carrier ran aground on Scaterie Island off Cape Breton in September 2011 while being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey. Neither the federal nor provincial governments have been willing to take responsibility for the wreck.

“We see a pattern of shirking responsibility,” said Chow. “And when accidents happen, the Conservative government walks away.”

Organizations: Transport Canada, Dominican Republic, Husky Energy Transportation Safety Board Conservatives

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Canada, Scaterie Island Cape Breton Turkey

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Recent comments

  • David Powell
    March 03, 2013 - 21:46

    First check her out and make sure no one is on board then break out a torpedo. The navies can draw straws if they like.... Canada, UK, USA, Russians, Germans, Swedes, anyone with a submarine.

  • seanoairborne
    February 06, 2013 - 14:13

    It's a Russian ship!Let the Russians come and get her.I don't understand all this nail biting over this old Russian scow.Honestly folks,don't you guys have anything more important to "biatch" about?As for old Lorraine Michels and the lefturds of the NDP ,or the Liberal party doing a better job than Conservatives if they were in charge,I say,just look to the mainland.The NDP and Libturds that were put in Charge in Ontario and several other western provinces in the past made bloody disasters of their economies.Then they put conservative governments in place,and,guess what,SUCCESS! And thems the facts!!!

  • California Pete from NFLD
    February 06, 2013 - 12:12

    Not much seamanship here they forgot to pull the cork out

  • Brigitte
    February 05, 2013 - 21:55

    I agree with Lynda. I was on a cruise with the Orlova and she was a nice ship.

  • Neil Kelly
    February 05, 2013 - 19:43

    You could have trucked her to Gambo and sank her next to the Cabin at Gambo Pond! Fadder would have had the bys from GFW and Gander in doing Diving tours on her! One Chubby Sheriff seized her and the other Skinny Sheriff could have made a dollar off her....hey ERNIE!

  • Jack
    February 05, 2013 - 19:17

    Let it be a lesson for Canadians never to elect right wing parties into the government, particularly the Conservative Party of Canada. Always vote for the centrist parties like the Liberals or left wing parties like the NDP.

    • Black
      February 05, 2013 - 23:12

      Left wing, that's nuts. Our economy would hit the bottom faster than that rust bucket.

  • Rick
    February 05, 2013 - 17:56

    Glad it's gone! An eye sore to the harbour front is an understatement!

  • david
    February 05, 2013 - 17:42

    "Irresponsible" .......that's been the home-sweet-home of all our hard-earned tax dollars for several decades now. So what's with the completely fake outrage, Olivia? You're hardly a naiive rookie on Parliament Hill --- remember to recycle your tin cans and ride your bike to work.....and Thursdays is pork tenderloin in the parliamentary dining room!

    • James
      February 06, 2013 - 05:30

      What are you whining about now? At least try to make a cohesive point. I guess Olivia just doesn't undrerstand the Newfouland mindset of "trow it back in the woods where it came from b'y."

    • david
      February 06, 2013 - 07:31

      Sorry, James...I guess that post was obviously a bit too complex, especially for those afflicted by the cult of Jack Layton. I'll try to 'dumb it down' for you in future. You're welcome.

  • Political Watcher
    February 05, 2013 - 17:33

    Well, to the members of the opposition I say to tow it to Lake Ontario or even Vancouver Harbour and tie it up there and then see what your reaction would be. St. John's had to put up with this eyesore for too long and I am one who was glad to see it leave and really don't care what happens to it now.

  • lynda
    February 05, 2013 - 14:43

    This vessel was given a vile injustice. She was restorable, given to the right owners, she would be sailing proudly today, and not floating around like a piece of garbage in the wind.

    • RJ
      February 05, 2013 - 15:39

      Everyone knows the Lybova was sent out for a sinking.Costs for new fence will be aided by the docking fees where she sat tied up.Port Auth & City just didn't expect the Lybova to still be above water past Cape Race.