No new reports of drifting ghost ship Lyubov Orlova
Four months after an empty Russian cruise ship snapped a tow line and drifted into the North Atlantic off Newfoundland her trail has gone cold.
The Canadian Coast Guard says it has received no reported sightings of the Lyubov Orlova since March 12.
At the time, one of the empty vessel's emergency radio beacons flashed an unconfirmed location almost 1,300 kilometres off Newfoundland. The beacon could have been activated after hitting water or another object.
The ship was drifting toward Iceland or Ireland but there have been no recent sightings reported by European officials or other maritime agencies.
"The owners of the Lyubov Orlova remain responsible for their vessel," Sam Whiffen, a spokesman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said.
On Jan. 24, the Lyubov Orlova snapped her tow line as she was being hauled by the tugboat Charlene Hunt to the Dominican Republic for scrap.
'It has ruined me,' co-owner says
An increasingly glum Reza Shoeybi, co-owner of the wayward ship, said in February that his life's savings were lost with her.
"It has ruined me," he said in an interview at the time. "I don't have anything else. I've lost 12 years of my savings."
Shoeybi said he and an uncle, both of Toronto, became co-owners of the once popular Arctic cruise ship named for a revered Russian actress from the 1930s. They took over payments after a family friend bought it for $275,000 in a Federal Court process last year.
Canadian authorities had seized the Lyubov Orlova in September 2010 as part of a lawsuit by Cruise North Expeditions against its Russian owners.
The badly neglected, rat-infested ship sat listing in its prime harbour berth in St. John's for more than two years before Shoeybi arrived to get it ready for tow. He said he and his uncle spent about $400,000 and had hoped to make between $700,000 and $800,000 in the Dominican depending on metal prices.