Missing cruise ship spotted drifting off the coast of Ireland
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A cruise ship that vanished more than three weeks ago has been spotted drifting towards the coast of Ireland.
The Russian-owned M/V Lyubov Orlova was being towed to a scrapyard in the Dominican Republic when the cord snapped in high winds.
Canadian salvage teams attempted to capture the disused vessel, but once it entered international waters, the operation was abandoned.
Since then, the Orlova has been floating aimlessly across the Northern Atlantic and is now believed to be within 1,200 nautical miles of Galway on the north west Irish coast.
Canadian news services report that the liner was seized in St John's, Newfoundland, in 2010 because its owners were $250,000 in debt. It then fell into disrepair and was then sold for scrap.
Its current owner, Reza Shoeybi, told CBC News that he was attempting to retrieve the vessel from the North Atlantic with the help of Irish salvage companies. However, bad weather has hampered efforts.
A report in Canadian news service The National Post says that the Irish Coast Guard is examining satellite imagery to ensure the ship can be retrieved before it breaks apart or drifts into shipping lanes.
The Orlova, which was built to withstand heavy seas, had previously served as an expedition ship, carrying passengers to both the Arctic and the Antarctic.