The TSB released its report into the loss of the tow of the Lubov Orlova. it makes for an interesting read – the planning for the journey was suspect, as was the tug, which was laid up for a period prior to use, and bareboat chartered by Orlova’s owner.
The tug ran into trouble repeatedly on the trip north to St Johns, and Failed a Port State inspection in Halifax. (Photo Above), finally was cleared to newfoundland, and then departed improperly equipped and in a dubious mechanical state.
you can Read the report in PDF or See all our coverage of this Incident Here
reports are that Lyubov Orlova’s Epirb Activated on the 23rd. Her Previous Position form the 19th is shown as A (49 22.70N, 044 51.34W.), The beacon’s location is 51-46.00N and 035-41.00W (B).
Unmanned passenger vessel Lyubov Orlova was spotted on Feb 19 13 in the vicinity 49 22.70N 044 51.34W in North Atlantic. Vessel is drifting towards Europe. It appaers the vessel was located by the US NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, who are tasked with producing Geographic inteligence, such as navigation charts and coast pilots.More can be found at msi.nga.mil
Update: added additional chart showing 200nm limit
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.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to investigate an incident involving the tug boat Charlene Hunt and the cruise ship Lyubov Orlova, which broke free of its tow line while en route to the Dominican Republic and went adrift. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.
Huskey Energy is reporting that one of its boats has taken the Lyubov Orlova Under tow.
Huskey is the Operator of the Hiberina platform off Newfoundland, and contracted Atlantic Towing to provide platform support vessels.
As the Lyubov Orlova was adrift without crew, this would count as salvage, meaning Atlantic Towing could file a claim against the vessel to cover its costs for recovery. Given the vessel was sold for scrap, and is likely uninsured, it likely means it is now Atlantic Towings’ to scrap to recover thier costs.
Update via the Telegram
As of 4 p.m. today, the towed MV Lyubov Orlova was 100 kilometres north of Husky Energy’s SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platform, according to a spokeswoman for the operator.
An offshore supply vessel, the Atlantic Hawk, began towing the previously adrift vessel at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, it was 70 kilometres north of the FPSO platform.
Various sources are reporting that the Vessel Lyubov Orlova is now adrift at sea. The tug Charlene Hunt was ordered back to St Johns by transport canada over safety concerns, after she lost the tow off Cape Race, last thursday.
The CCGS Cape Roger (File Photo, Below) is On Station, and the Lyubov Orlova is reportedly drifting out to sea.
Looks like the tug Charlene Hunt snapped a tow line and is having trouble reconnecting.
See shipfax for more on the tug. (which waited out weather in Halifax in Dec, and arrived in newfoundland damaged due to additional weather.
(Left) To Vessels at bottom are the Charlene Hunt and the CCGS Cape Roger. Initial reports were that the Lyubov Orlova was drifting out to sea.
CBC news is reporting:
A derelict Russian cruise ship that left St. John’s this week for the scrapyard is drifting in open seas.
The Lyubov Orlova finally left St. John’s Harbour on Wednesday afternoon after being tied up for nearly two-and-a-half years.
It was being towed to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped when the Coast Guard was notified on Thursday that the tow line had snapped.
It happened about 12 kilometres east of Cape Race.
No one was on board the Orlova at the time.
There were high winds in the area Thursday evening, with five- to six-metre waves, causing more issues for the ship – though a spokesperson for the Coast Guard said those winds should diminish overnight.
The crew of the tug boat Charlene Hunt was trying to reconnect the line. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard vessel Cape Roger is en route to monitor the situation.
The Coast Guard is advising mariners to be cautious if travelling through the area.