Could you imagine purchasing a nice piece of land that offers you oceanfront property, only to get word that there is an abandoned ship headed your way? Well, an abandoned ship isn’t THAT bad! The part that is bad is that the ship is now full of cannibal rats, who have survived on this ship by eating each other. You can’t blow the ship up due to the debris that would land in the ocean and be harmful to sea life, not to mention all the garbage that would come ashore. And you don’t want it to reach shore in case the rats somehow get off the boat and invade the ocean’s shore. So what are you supposed to do? Here is a little history of the Lyubov Orlova!
The Lyubov Orlova is a ship that was made in Yugoslavia. It was designed so the Russians could take some of their most elite citizens on tours of Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. It was designed to withstand these extremely cold waters with Finnish-Swedish Ice Glass 1A in order to break through any ice that may be floating in the ocean.
Over the years, the ship was sold to a variety of different owners, the last owner being Cruise North Expeditions. They were ready to set sail but the trip was canceled due to some issues with the ship that made it unsafe for travel. In 2010, the ship was impounded in Newfoundland, Canada and then sold in 2012 to a company called Neptune International Shipping to be turned into scrap metal.
Once impounded, the Lyubov Orlova ws docked for two years in St. John’s harbor. It was then decided that it would be towed from this harbor down to the Dominican Republic. It was originally tugged by Charlene Hunt, a tug boat owned by American tug operator Hunt Marine. This all began on January 27, 2013. But one day after they left the dock, the tow line parted. They tried to reconnect, but due to horrible weather they were not able to get the tow line connected again. This caused the Lyubov Orlovo to slowly drift east.
Because Hunt Marine was not able to gain control over the Lyubov Orlovo, a new company was hired. An offshore supply vessel named Atlantic Hawk was hired with this task. The boat had become a risk to oil and gas operations in the southeastern end of the Avalon Peninsula in Canada. Transport Canada announced that on January 31, 2013 the Atlantic Hawk had regained control of the Lyubov Orlova.
Once Lyubov Orlova was in international waters though, Transport Canada decided to cut her loose and call it good! They said, “The Lyubov Orlova no longer poses a threat to the safety of offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment. The vessel has drifted into international waters and given current patterns and predominant winds, it is very unlikely that the vessel will re-enter waters under Canadian jurisdiction.” They stated that due to safety concerns they were no longer going to salvage the giant ship.
After the ship was abandoned, it was spotted in various parts of the Atlantic Ocean. This ship could have drifted anywhere from the Norwegian Arctic to western Africa! The reason that this was more scary than normal is that it was believed that this ship was filled with hundreds of cannibalistic rats, that survived by eating each other. On February 23, 2013 this ship was spotted 1300 nautical miles from the Irish coast. Because of this spotting, there was a caution issued to smaller vessels. On March 1, 2013, it was reported by the Irish media that a signal from the ship’s emergency positioning beacon was received. It was 700 miles off the Kerry coast, but still in International waters. Transport Canada made it clear that the owners of the ship were still the ones responsible for its whereabouts, even though they had every intention of transporting it for scrap metal. There was another distress signal sent from the Lyubov Orlova on March 12, 2013.
There were rumors that the ship was headed toward the coast of England, but it is now believe that the ship sunk shortly after the last distress signal was sent. It has not been seen or heard from since.