Russian 'Ghost Ship' Vanishes

Lyubov Orlova hasn't been heard from since March 12

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 27, 2013 8:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Months after a Russian "ghost ship" turned up adrift off the Irish coast, she's gone missing again. The Lyubov Orlova's tow line broke back in January, as the cruise ship was being hauled from Canada to the Dominican Republic as scrap. The ship, empty except for an infestation of rats, was located in February, but disappeared again and now has not been seen since March 12, CBC reports. Some are speculating that the 328-foot-long vessel may have sunk, LiveScience reports. And if that's the case, a French environmental organization is worried: It says the ship could leak toxic fluids into the ocean.

A new tow line was actually attached to the ship back in February, by the oil industry supply ship that spotted it. But since the cruise ship was in international waters and thus not under Canada's jurisdiction, Transport Canada ordered the oil ship to release it. In March, one of the Lyubov Orlova's emergency beacons indicated it was more than 800 miles off Newfoundland, drifting toward Ireland or Iceland, though that location was not confirmed. (Sail World notes that the beacon likely would have been activated after contact with the water, adding to sinking fears.)

The Lyubov Orlova.
The Lyubov Orlova.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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