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Tue Nov 12, 2019, 08:05 AM

Into the abyss: How the MV Lyubov Orlova, a cruise ship named for a Soviet movie star, met its end a

How the MV Lyubov Orlova, a cruise ship named for a Soviet movie star, met its end as a ‘cannibal rat-infested ghost ship’ in the Atlantic

Glenn Mackey boarded the MV Lyubov Orlova in St. John’s Harbour on July 2, 2010, expecting to conduct a routine ship inspection.
But the Transport Canada inspector's visit quickly became anything but routine. He noticed the crane for the lifeboats was broken and the fire doors were defective. His notes from that day describe the crew's emergency drills as a "fiasco."


Mackey's visit proved to be the beginning of the end for the Lyubov Orlova, a 4,251-tonne Arctic and Antarctic expedition cruise ship with a capacity of 110 passengers and 70 crew. The 2010 Arctic summer cruise season would be its last. Within two months of Mackey's inspection, the Lyubov Orlova and its crew would be abandoned in the harbour by the vessel's owner, as lawsuits and liens piled up.


The Lyubov Orlova was originally owned by the Far East Shipping Company, which used it to ferry passengers along the eastern coastline of the Soviet Union, mostly around the Vladivostok region.


"[One owner] said it was going to scrap and [the other] said they were taking it to 'humanitarian' purposes as a hotel in Haiti."
Nobody planned for what actually happened next. Within a day at sea, the Charlene Hunt's towline broke, sending the Lyubov Orlova adrift.

Very long read, but worth it (IMO)


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Reply Into the abyss: How the MV Lyubov Orlova, a cruise ship named for a Soviet movie star, met its end a (Original post)
rpannier Nov 12 OP
csziggy Nov 12 #1
Dennis Donovan Nov 12 #2
muriel_volestrangler Nov 12 #3
ornotna Nov 12 #4

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 08:37 AM

1. Fascinating read! Thanks for posting the link to the article

It really gives insight into how Russian business is conducted and how those businesses cause problems all over the world.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 09:11 AM

2. I remember the story (from the point the ship was abandoned)...

She was out in the Atlantic... somewhere, and presumed sunk.

Although this ship wasn't adrift, the Ocean Dream met a similar, abandoned fate (also with sketchy operators before abandonment).


A 1972-built cruise ship abandoned for over a year in Thailand waters sank over the weekend, leading to an oil spill at sea, reports said.

The 17,000gt cruise ship Ocean Dream has been anchored off the port of Laem Chabang for more than a year, before it finally took on water and became partially submerged about 2km off Laem Chabang.

In August 2012, Seatrade reported Ocean Dream had begun twice-weekly sailings from Thailand’s Laem Chabang, calling at Ko Samui and Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Easttime Shipping had teamed with Hong Kong-based Profit Summit Deluxe Cruise to initiate the service. The ship accommodates 1,060 passengers in 420 cabins.

The capsized vessel leaked oil that formed a thin film on the water surface covering about 5.2 square kilometres, and the Thai marine authorities have deployed an oil boom to contain the spill and sprayed chemical dispersants to break up the spillage, reports said.

Efforts are also under way to stabilise the vessel, and investigations have commenced to find out the cause of the accident.

The ship is the former Flamenco, which had been sold to Indian breakers in 2010 who then sold it on to Hong Kong owners. The vessel was built in 1972 and originally operated as Spirit of London for P&O before sailing as Sun Princess for Princess Cruises and undergoing a number of other incarnations including as Flamenco for Festival Cruises.

The owner has been asked by Thai authorities to remove the vessel, but did not respond to the request, local sources said. A possible lawsuit might be lodged against the owner for the cost of wreck removal, it was reported.

The ship had no crew on board.


Thanks for posting about Lyubov Orlova!

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 10:37 AM

3. I remember The Sun's fearmongering, and the British govt spokesman's dry reply

The story is not new, having been reported over the last year in publications ranging from the Irish Independent to the New Scientist. What appears to have given it a boost this time was the Sun's approach.

Under the headline Ship of Ghouls it reported: "A GHOST ship laden with cannibal RATS is sailing for our shores, experts fear – as nobody knows where it is!" Nobody knows where it is, and nobody actually knows if there are rats on board.
David Cameron's official spokesman made it clear that it wasn't top of the British government's worry list. "That one hasn't scuttled across my desk," was his pun-tastic reply when asked if Cameron had been briefed about the ship.

Pressed over whether the navy would intervene he said: "Gosh, we're almost in a B-movie script development meeting here."


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