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Lyubov Orlova adrift in international Waters

It appears the Lyubov Orlova will simply drift away to become another countries problem. After being towed away from the Searose FPSO by Atlantic Hawk, the Tow was handed off to Maersk Challenger, another St John’s based AHST, chartered by Transport Canada.

Rather then return the ship to Port – no port appeared willing to accept the Lyubov Orlova, Maersk challenger, towed her beyond the 200nm limit, and cut her free in international waters. The Lyubov Orlova will drift untill she is Sunk by weather, hits another country, or is claimed by her owners.

Transport Canada maintains that the vessel is still the responsibility of her owners; The Owners likely will not go after the vessel as the cost will be more the the value of the vessel; and if she doesnt sink, the Lyubov Orlova will become another countries problem.

Given the rash of scrap vessels going adrift, The federal Government should pass a law requiring any vessel being towed from within Canadian territorial waters, to outside to carry sufficient insurance for recovery, prior to being allowed to leave port.

UPDATE: It is now reported that the Maersk Challenger took the tow, however the Tow line parted in heavy seas. It was decided to let the Lubov Orlova drift, as she was no longer a danger to off shore installations, nor in Canadian Waters.  The owner claims he intends to recover the vessel, however Transport Canada forbids him from doing so with the Charlene Hunt.

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Peter Ziobrowski

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