For scrap and adrift, this is Canada’s motto

29 Jan 2013

Lyubov Orlova, Press release # 1

Canada often sends its used commercial vessels to be broken up a long way away, in particular in Turkey.

In September 2011, the Canadian Miner, bound for Aliaga (Turkey) under tow, broke her towline, drifted and ran aground on Scatarie Island, in Nova Scotia. The cost of cutting and dismantling was evaluated at 24 million $. The wreck is dislocating and is a threat to the environment and the local fisheries. The Canadian Miner is still stranded on the island. The removal operations have been cancelled.

Today, the Lyubov Orlova, once chartered for Arctic cruises, is adrift off Newfoundland and is at risk to collide with other ships and an Exxon Mobil platform. This former soviet cruise ship, with a capacity of 122 passengers, was seized in 2010 following suits for unpaid salaries and bunkers. She has since remained abandoned in Saint John’s harbour; her departure for breaking had been planned for almost a year but was postponed several times due to incidents (like a fire onboard in August) or bad weather conditions. She finally left the port under tow on January 23rd, 2013 but broke her towline.

Canada let the old ships leave under the worst conditions but with the guarantee for the worst to happen considering the long voyage and the risks of towing in the North Atlantic. The Canadian Miner was indeed towed by the Greek tugboat Hellas, which had been previously inspected by the Canadian authorities and detained in Montreal just a few days before leaving along with the Canadian Miner. As for the Lyubov Orlova, her towing was conducted by a ghost company on the verge of bankruptcy. Her tugboat Charlene Hunt was built in 1962 ! Canada, great maritime nation, bordering the Arctic, claims control and security over the Northwest passage. It must use proper means adapted to the towing of damaged or out of use vessels if necessary and must also develop ship-breaking yards. Lyubov Orlova’s final destination is an eventual ship-breaking yard in the Dominican Republic (Cf. #30, Demolition in America, p2). Her shipwreck or her grounding would be an additional and serious environmental disaster.





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