The Lyubov Orlova cruise liner was abandoned in a Canadian harbour after its owners were embroiled in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew. The authorities in Newfoundland tried to sell the hull for scrap, valued at £600,000, to the Dominican Republic, but cut their losses when it came loose in a storm on the way. Built in former Yugoslavia and named after a 1930s Russian actress the ship has been dubbed a rat-infested ghost ship!
Two signals were picked up on in March last year, thought to be from lifeboats which fell away and hit the water, showing the vessel had made it two-thirds of the way across the Atlantic and was heading east. A week later, an unidentified object of about the right size was spotted on radar just off the coast of Scotland; however search planes have been unable to verify the find.
British national newspaper, The Independent has spoken to experts who think it is likely to contain hundreds of rats that have been eating each other to survive and that the unlucky ship must still be out there somewhere because not all of its lifeboat emergency beacons have been set off.
Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian salvage hunter who is among a number looking for the Lyubov Orlova off the UK coastline, told The Sun, “She is floating around out there somewhere. There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other. If I get aboard I'll have to lace everywhere with poison.”
Chris Reynolds, the head of the Irish coastguard said, “The ship is more likely than not to still pose a threat. There have been huge storms in recent months but it takes a lot to sink a vessel as big as that. We must stay vigilant.”
The search continues for The Lyubov Orlova and citizens of the UK need not worry about cannibal rats invading the country. With salvage hunters and the coastguard watching out for her, it is highly unlikely she will reach British shores.
For those readers interested, there is a blog dedicated to the vessels journey.
Visit http://whereisorlova.com/ to find out more.