Free Spirit: The Case of LYUBOV ORLOVA
Built 37 years ago the MV LYUBOV ORLOVA has ha a relatively quite life until the past few months, where without power and drifting the Atlantic it has spawned a twitter, App, t-shirts and even a movie pitch. Just nobody knows where she is?
Named after a Russian actress the small cruise ship was impounded in St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada in 2010 because of dispute between Cruise North, the charter operator, and the Russian owner. She had been built in 1976 in Yugoslavia as a fleet of ice strengthened passenger ships. Along with sister ship the Sea Adventurer she found a niche serving as an expedition cruise ship around the Arctic and Antarctica.
In January 2013 she was to be taken to the Dominican Republic and scrapped, however one day out of port in bad weather the line snapped and the ship became separated from the tug. Floating freely in the Atlantic she posed a danger to oil installations off the coast and on 31st January she was collected by the offshore oil supply vessel Atlantic Hawk.
But that wasnt he end of the story, Atlantic Hawk simply towed the vessel into international waters and on 4th February she was left floating free again, and that’s where we currently stand, we are not quite sure where she is, but she is slowly floating towards Ireland.
The vessel’s disappearance, in a world where it seems increasingly impossible to hide, has sparked media interest, there has been a movie pitch, one commercially savvy follower has launched an iPhone app ‘Find Orlova’ another has launched a range of T-shirts and Mugs. The ship itself also appears to have been tweeting regularly about what it has been up to and topical affairs, meaning this ghost ship is very much alive and well on the internet.
Unfortunately for the LYUBOV ORLOVA, we are unlikely to see the vessel, once finally discovered, return to service, It’s age and the condition having been out of service for three years means that any return to service refurbishment would probably be uneconomical.
Potentially worse news is that she could have already sunk, her emergency position indicating radio beacon started transmitting at the end of February, usually only started when the in contact with water. Only time will tell whats happened to LYUBOV ORLOVA.
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