The mayor of Selkirk wants help from the provincial and federal governments to get rid of the rusting, burned-out carcass of a former cruise ship lying in a slough in the Manitoba city.

The MS Lord Selkirk II has been sitting in the slough at Selkirk Park for 23 years, since its cruise career ended. Last year it was set on fire, which consumed the upper deck.

It was supposed to be dismantled shortly afterwards but that has not happened because the ship's American owner is nowhere to be found, according to Mayor Larry Johannson.

The city can't legally move the ship because it doesn't own it.

"As much as we all worry about phosphates and dishwashing soap and the rest of it, I mean take a look at this thing, it is just, not only is it an eyesore it's an environmental disaster," Johannson said.

"It's also, I think, a future tragedy waiting to happen."

He said he needs the other levels of government to help either remove it or put pressure on the owner to get it out of there.

"It's flecking all this stuff and leaking all this stuff into our slough, which in turn goes out to the mighty Red River and goes out to magestic Lake Winnipeg," Johannson said.

"I don't think any level of government wants this."

Built in 1969 in Selkirk, the 176-foot steel passenger vessel has been owned by various companies and individuals.

It was slated to be taken apart for scrap in 2010 but is still sitting in the slough, where it has been since 1990.