Empty vessel off Newfoundland still adrift, not expected to reach Hibernia

The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - An empty Russian cruise ship drifting off Newfoundland is not expected to reach the Hibernia offshore oil platform as it heads out to sea.

Offshore oil operators about 315 kilometres east of St. John's were keeping watch as the derelict vessel floated within about 40 kilometres of Hibernia.

Margot Bruce-O'Connell, a spokeswoman for the Hibernia Management and Development Company, says they continue to monitor the vessel but it's not expected to get close to Hibernia.

Transport Canada has not provided an update since late Tuesday when it said the Lyubov (LOO-bov) Orlova was about 270 kilometres southeast of St. John's.

The vessel has been drifting toward open water since it snapped its tow line last week as a tugboat was pulling it to the Dominican Republic for scrap.

Transport Canada says the owner of the cruise ship, an Iranian scrap merchant now in the Dominican Republic, is responsible for it.