Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Derelict Russian ship adrift in international waters

Last week, a Russian cruise ship broke free of the tug boat towing it to the Dominican Republic for scrapping. The ship was adrift and Transport Canada hooked onto its safety tow line and towed it beyond the 200 mile limit where that line broke. It is now adrift on the high seas and as such, no one's responsibility.

Transport Canada says it will not pursue the drifting Lyubov Orlova since the cruise ship has officially entered international waters. A spokesperson said the Russian vessel is no longer a threat to the safety of offshore oil platforms, its personnel, or the marine environment. It is unlikely that it will re-enter Canadian waters, given the current patterns and predominant winds.

According to Transport Canada, the vessel was spotted approximately 250 nautical miles east of St. John’s, approximately 50 nautical miles outside Canada’s territorial waters. The fate of the Lyubov Orlova remains unclear. Transport Canada said in a release on Saturday night that they have decided not to pursue the vessel because it would be a safety risk to the Canadian sailors.

The department said the owners of the vessel have been made aware of the current status of the ship and they are responsible for it. The Lyubov Orlova had been tied up in the St. John's harbour for more than two years before it was towed away last week. The derelict vessel started drifting toward open water after it snapped its tow line as a tugboat was pulling it to the Dominican Republic for scrap.

The Atlantic Hawk, a supply vessel in the offshore oil industry, managed to take the Orlova under tow again last Wednesday

Source: CBC News

Image courtesy of via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)