ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Husky Energy has stepped in to haul an empty Russian cruise ship that's been adrift off Newfoundland since last week away from the province's oil and gas fields.
Husky spokeswoman Colleen McConnell said one of the firm's offshore support vessels, the Atlantic Hawk, secured a tow line to the Lyubov Orlova on Wednesday evening.
The derelict cruise ship had been drifting toward open water since it snapped its tow line last week as a tugboat was pulling it to the Dominican Republic for scrap.
At one point, a source said the vessel floated within about 40 kilometres of Hibernia.
McConnell said the priority is to haul the Lyubov Orlova as far from the Hibernia, Terra Nova and SeaRose sites as possible.
As of Thursday morning, she said the ship was about 70 kilometres north of Husky's SeaRose oil platform.
"It's a relief for all of us, but we'll certainly keep monitoring it," McConnell said Thursday from St. John's, N.L.
She said the Atlantic Hawk is headed north, but the cruise ship's ultimate destination is up to Transport Canada.
Spokesman Steve Bone said Transport Canada was still finalizing those details.
"The Lyubov Orlova is not a risk to oil rigs and floating platforms," he said in an email.
Transport Canada said the owner of the cruise ship, an Iranian scrap merchant now in the Dominican Republic, is responsible for it.
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