Please select your home edition
Edition
Beneteau PWR GT40 728x90

Missing Ghost Cruise Ship found - the strange tale of MV Lyubov Orlova

by Lee Mylchreest on 25 Feb 2013
Approximate position of ’ghost ship’ - Cross shows the current approximate position, travelling slowly east. SW
MV Lyubov Orlova has had an adventurous life as a cruise ship, but in her latest voyage her salons are empty, there's no band playing and no Captain on the bridge. Since she was let loose by Canadian authorities in International waters last month she has made her slow way across the Atlantic towards Europe, alone, obviously determined to escape the scrapyard where she was headed. Until now, no-one quite knew where she was.

But this week, after being adrift in the North Atlantic since the end of January she has finally been located - some 1200nm off the West of Ireland at coordinates 49-22.70N and 044-51.34W.

US technology site Gizmodo has reported on the discovery via the daily memorandum of the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which creates maps for top-secret military and civilian use.

It's not clear by what means the vessel was detected, as it has no lights and its Automatic Identification System (AIS) is switched off. Curiouser and curiouser.


The Background:
In September 2010, Lyubov Orlova was seized at St John's, Newfoundland due to debts of US$251,000 owed to the charterer, Cruise North Expeditions, from a cancelled cruise due to faults with the ship. In addition, the 51 crew members had not been paid in five months. She was arrested in Newfoundland, and sold to Neptune International Shipping, in February 2012, to be broken up.

The derelict vessel had been tied up in St. John's harbour for over two years and was being towed by a tugboat, the Charlene Hunt to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped.

However, just one day after leaving the dock, the tow rope broke and MV Lyobov Orlova, named after a Russian movie star, escaped into the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby were oil and gas operations which were put at risk. The crew of the tugboat tried to reconnect the line, but, hampered by high winds and three-metre seas, the escaped cruise ship could not be captured.

A few days later Transport Canada announced that the offshore supply vessel, Atlantic Hawk, with a 157 tonne continuous bollard pull rating, had successfully gained control of the drifting ship and that the latter was no longer a risk to oil and gas operations in the region.

It's not sure what happened next, but the ship ended up in international waters, and then Transport Canada decided to cut her loose.

'The Lyubov Orlova no longer poses a threat to the safety of offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment. 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,' the department said in a statement. Safety concerns were cited by Transport Canada in their reason to not pursue a salvage operation to retrieve the ship.
The ship was located on February 4 at approximately 250 nautical miles east of St. John’s, NL (approximately 50 nautical miles outside Canada’s territorial waters) and drifting northeasterly.

No-one knew quite what would happen. If left alone she could end up almost anywhere from the Norwegian Arctic, to western Africa, or stuck forever going round in circles in the middle of the North Atlantic Gyre.

But the Irish were concerned by this development and Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds expressed concerns that the MV Lyubov Orlova might suddenly appear in Irish waters and become a burden on the State.

Current information on the ghost ship's position indicates that it is still being carried by Atlantic currents towards Europe.

Watch this space.

Naiad/Oracle SupplierInsun - AC ProgramProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Mercury engine data now available on your mobile device
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the release in Australia and New Zealand of VesselView Mobile. Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the release in Australia and New Zealand of VesselView Mobile. VesselView Mobile provides boaters with SmartCraft engine data on their mobile device including smartphones and tablets.
Posted today at 7:19 am
How to fix window leaks – Great tips from an owner who’s been there
It’s the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had: A leaking window on the port side of the salon on Grand Banks 36. It’s one of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had: A leaking window on the port side of the salon on my Grand Banks 36.
Posted on 30 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.III)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We’ve looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone, seen the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery. Now we’ll see why patience is the key in the aftermath of her fury.
Posted on 30 Apr
Debris from disabled yacht littering popular beach on Lake Michigan
A 76-foot yacht that was grounded in three feet of water causing environmental and legal problems near a popular beach A 76-foot yacht that was grounded in three feet of water is causing environmental and legal problems near a popular beach on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard says the operator intentionally grounded the 76-foot yacht Tica, built in 1964, when it started taking on water off Ludington State Park, north of Pentwater, Michigan, on April 15.
Posted on 29 Apr
Retired couple, and their dog, tackle the great loop in a C-Dory 25
Pat and Patty Anderson, of Birch Bay, Washington, just north of Bellingham, love to go boating. Pat and Patty Anderson, of Birch Bay, Washington, just north of Bellingham, love to go boating. They bought their C-Dory 25 Daydream at the Seattle boat show in 2005, and have spent much of their free time cruising the nearby San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands.
Posted on 27 Apr
Announcing new Simrad® RS20 VHF Marine Radio
Simrad® is pleased to announce the new RS20, a Class D DSC Approved, NMEA 2000® compatible, VHF marine radio. Simrad® is pleased to announce the new RS20, a Class D DSC Approved, NMEA 2000® compatible, VHF marine radio. The versatile RS20 is ideal for a variety of boats from small RIBs to larger cruisers, and is designed to match the low-profile style of modern Simrad Glass Bridge displays and accessories.
Posted on 26 Apr
Beneteau GT40 – Two words, one powerful acronym, and a hell of a boat!
So yes, it is all so very apt with Beneteau’s super sleek Gran Turismo 40 So yes, it is all so very apt with Beneteau’s super sleek Gran Turismo 40. Now it is also true that it’s made even more so because it was Italian designers Nuvolari and Lenard that gave the vessel her smart looks to match the words from their language. However, reigning supreme over it all is that the craft stays true to the original premise of what the term actually means.
Posted on 26 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.
Posted on 25 Apr
Nautitech 47 Power – Bavaria Catamarans’ luxury motor yacht on 2 hulls
Concept and engineering phases have been completed, and now the development of the Nautitech 47 Power enters a new phase In Bavaria Catamarans’ shipyard in Rochefort, France, construction is soon to begin on the catamaran, which is 14 metres long and travels at speeds of up 22 knots. The Nautitech 47 Power will be on display at trade fairs at the beginning of 2018.
Posted on 21 Apr
A well-traveled couple cruise to Cuba on their Ranger Tugs 25
Cheryll and Rich Odendahl from Algonac, Michigan, have the travel bug. So far, they’ve visited 47 countries Cheryll and Rich Odendahl from Algonac, Michigan, have the travel bug. So far, they’ve visited 47 countries, including the usual suspects – France, England, Mexico – and some more exotic spots – the Mount Everest base camp, Iceland, Fiji.
Posted on 21 Apr