TSB blames lost ship on preparation, weather

A botched tow cast an empty cruise ship adrift off Newfoundland


ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The Transportation Safety Board blames lack of preparation, bad weather and mechanical issues for a botched tow that cast an empty cruise ship adrift off Newfoundland.

There have been no recent reports of the derelict Russian vessel Lyubov Orlova and it is presumed sunk.

The board says the captain of the tug Charlene Hunt did not sufficiently prepare before towing the 100-metre long vessel out of the St. John’s harbour on Jan. 23, 2013.

The tow line snapped the next day off Cape Race south of St. John’s in winds of about 75 kilometres per hour and six-metre waves.

The board says towing guidelines weren’t followed and that arrangements weren’t adequate for the intended voyage to a scrapyard in the Dominican Republic.

It also says Transport Canada found problems with the Charlene Hunt during an inspection in Halifax before it travelled to St. John’s to attempt the tow.

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