The Lyubov Orlova, a Russian cruise ship that had been abandoned in Canadian ports for over two years, has been adrift in the North Atlantic for two months, floating from coast to coast while authorities turn their heads refusing to accept responsibility for securing the floating “ghost ship”. The Lyubov Orlova left Canada’s shores on January 23, 2013 to be towed to a shipyard in the Dominican Republic. One day into the voyage, the cables snapped and unable to re-secure the vessel, tow operators left it stranded in international waters. Shortly thereafter, a supply vessel, the Atlantic Hawk, was able to secure the ship and began to tow it away from oil derricks when again the cables snapped (or so they claim). Unstable weather conditions left the Atlantic Hawk unable to re-secure the ship. The Lyubov Orlova’s GPS system is broken and authorities are unable to track its location as it drifts around the North Atlantic. This week, the Russian cruise ship was spotted 1,300 miles off the west coast of Ireland. Given ocean currents and predominant wind patterns, the ship is believed to be heading towards the coasts of Europe.
The Orlov was built in 1976 by the Russian-based Far East Shipping Company and used as an expedition cruise ship before the company deserted it in St. john’s, Newfoundland. The ice-strengthened cruise ship was named after Russian film star Lyubov Orlova.