Cruise Ship Law

Abandoned Ship Removed From St. John’s Two And A Half Years Later


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

A lot of attention has been given to Costa Cruises for the delay in removing the remnants of the Concordia from its watery grave in Giglio, Italy. It has been one year since the Concordia capsized and partially sank off the coast of the Italian island on Jan. 12, 2012, but the ship remains in the waters close to shore, serving as a reminder of just how important abiding by proper maritime safety protocols can be.

Officials explain that due to weather and maritime conditions, along with complications associated with the marine habitat where the vessel was grounded, it has taken more time than anticipated to extricate the vessel. Additionally, authorities believe that moving the ship might release toxins into the ecosystem, causing damage to the area and its marine life.

The removal project was originally slated for earlier this month, but has now been pushed back to September, tentatively. Yet, as ludicrous as it might sound to some that a vessel can just be left stranded out in the middle of the ocean, the Concordia is not the only cruise ship to have been left at sea.

Two and a half years after it had been abandoned, a derelict ship that had been taking up space on the St. John’s waterfront has finally been removed.

The Lyubov Orlova, a cruise ship that had been abandoned at the wharf, was removed at around 12:30 p.m. and was towed out of the harbor by a tugboat shortly afterwards. The Lyubov Orlova will be making its way to the Dominican Republic, where it has already been sold for scrap. The journey to the Dominican Republic should take between three to four weeks.

The vessel was seized in St. John’s in September 2010 after a creditor put a lien on the ship. The 90-meter-long Orlova was owned by Russian company Locso Shipping. At the time of the ship’s seizure, the company owed Cruise North Expeditions $250,000. Additionally, Locso Shipping also owed 51 crewmembers on the vessel over $300,000 in wages, which crewmembers can seek to recover with the help of a cruise attorney, such as our experienced lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A.

Although the Orlova had been left abandoned at the wharf, it had not been forgotten. Since 2010, the vessel had been sold and resold, all the while being moored on the dock.

Reza Shoeybi, who owns a tugboat from Boston, was involved in the removal of the ship. He arrived in St. John’s in December to prepare the Orlova for towing, and much like the officials involved in the removal of the Concordia, has been waiting for the right conditions to move the vessel. according to Shoeybi, he had to wait between five to six weeks for the ideal maritime conditions so the ship could be removed.

Extricating a vessel from the water, even if it is just docked at a wharf, can prove to be complicated if conditions are unfavorable. not only can the vessel sustain damage, but crews involved in the process may get hurt and require a cruise attorney of their own to seek compensation for their injuries.

Even though it may take time, it is important to ensure that all factors are ideal, including weather and tides, so that the removal process can be as smooth as possible.

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