ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The co-owner of a Russian cruise ship adrift in the North Atlantic says his attempt to salvage the derelict vessel has ruined him financially.

The empty cruise ship Lyubov Orlova was being pulled by the Charlene Hunt to the Dominican Republic for scrap when its tow line snapped in rough seas on January 24th.

Efforts to reattach the cable failed, and Transport Canada ordered the tugboat back to port a few days later.

Reza Shoeybi says he and his uncle became co-owners of the ship after a family friend bought the vessel in a court sale.

Shoeybi says the original buyer struggled with the payments and that he and his uncle invested a total of more than $400,000 dollars.

He says he felt pressured to get the vessel out of the harbour as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Opposition NDP critics say Transport Canada should never have permitted the tug to leave St. John's.

Transport Canada has said the owners of the ship remain responsible for its movements.