- A ghost ship ushered in by Storm Dennis has been discovered in a coastal village in southern Ireland.
- The 250-foot vessel was originally abandoned in 2018 following a power outage that left the crew of 10 stranded.
- The crew was later rescued, but the ship remained abandoned, travelling alone over 1,000 miles for about 16 months before reaching its final destination in Ireland.
- Cork County Council claims the wreck does not pose an environmental threat, although there are still sealed containers filled with oil and other materials on board that need to be removed in order to prevent any chance of pollution.
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Storm Dennis has washed ashore a surprising discovery by a coastal village in south Ireland: a vacant “ghost ship.”
A jogger initially discovered the wreck where it now lays in Ballycotton, Ireland, the Washington Post reported. The ship drifted ashore with the help of Storm Dennis, which has been ravaging England, Wales, and Ireland and causing extensive flooding in some parts of the UK, Axios reported.
The 250-foot vessel – originally named MV Alta – was initially abandoned on October 18, 2018, in the southeast area of Bermuda, the BBC reported. This means the ship has drifted alone for more than a thousand miles for over a year.
“This is one in a million,” local official John Tattan told the Irish Examiner. “I have never, ever seen anything abandoned like that before.”
Initial assessments by the Cork City Council has found that the wreckage does not pose a pollution threat to its surroundings, although there are a few sealed containers onboard that need to be removed in order to prevent any potential damage to the environment.
Keep scrolling to see the dramatic photos of the wreckage:
The location of the wreck is “on a dangerous and inaccessible stretch of coastline and is in an unstable condition,” Cork City Council said in a statement.
Source: Cork City Council
The Alta was built in 1976 and donned the Tanzanian flag at the time of its abandonment.
Its last crew abandoned the vessel during a sailing trip from Greece to Haiti after a power outage.
The outage caused the Alta to drift 1,300 miles in 20 days, a Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre spokesperson told Hellenic Shipping News in 2018.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
There were 10 people on board at the time it was adrift, and the US Coast Guard had to airdrop the crew supplies and food.
The coast guard later rescued the 10 crew members when a hurricane approached.
There were discussions of tugging the Alta to shore, but that plan — and the ship — was ultimately abandoned.
The Alta was last spotted by the British Royal Navy in September 2019.
The boat travelled up the African coast past the Spanish and English coast before finally hitting Ireland, Tattan said told the Irish Examiner.
Source: Irish Examiner
“To have a ship drifting around like that for 18 months is not common,” Irish government official Robert McCabe told the BBC News.
The Cork County Council’s Oil Spill Assessment Team and its environmental scientists have decided that the newfound wreck has not created any “visible” pollution in the Ballycotton Bay Special Protection Area or the proposed Natural Heritage Areas.
Source: Cork County Council
An initial assessment has also been made aboard the ship, and marine contractors have discovered that there’s not much diesel fuel left in the ship’s tanks.
There was no cargo on board with the exception of sealed containers filled with oil and materials that were once necessary to operate the ship.
These extra items may be a risk to the environment if it spills, and the council is now evaluating how to remove the substances safely.
Source: Cork County Council
A person claiming to be the owner of the Alta has come forward, and the claim is now being accessed, the Irish Times reported.
Source: Irish Times