Russian 'Ghost Ship' Turns Up Off Irish Coast

It's an environmental danger: French group

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 22, 2013 7:21 AM CST

(Newser) – An empty Russian cruise ship lost at sea for weeks has turned up some 1,300 nautical miles off Ireland's west coast, reports AFP via PhysOrg. The Lyubov Orlova was being towed from Canada to the Dominican Republic when a tug line broke in late January, setting it adrift. One subsequent attempt to secure it failed, leading to fears the ship would be lost for good, but authorities hold out hope they'll be able to corral it. "I'm trying my best," ship owner Reza Shoeybi tells Canada's CBC News. "I'm talking to a few people in Ireland—salvage companies—perhaps to partner up with them and retrieve her." One big snag: Its GPS system is no longer functioning as it drifts toward Europe, notes Gizmodo.

The ship had been docked at a Newfoundland port for two years before the decision was made to have it towed away for scrap. And even though its only passengers are now rats, a French environmental group says it poses an "imminent" risk, reports a separate AFP story. It has no functioning lights for one thing. "In case of a collision or sinking or any accident, the Lyubov Orlova will immediately release fuel, pyralene and other toxic liquids," the group says.

A 2010 image of the ship.
A 2010 image of the ship.   (Wikimedia Commons/Lilpop,Rau&Loewenstein)
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