A “Ghost Ship” abandoned for over a year and drifting in the Atlantic finally washed ashore in Ireland amid Storm Dennis’ choppy water, the country’s coast guard says.
The MV Alta was found on the coast near Ballycotton, a small town in southern Ireland’s County Cork, with no crew on board, the Irish Coast Guard said Sunday.
The county’s local council asked the public to stay away from the vessel as crews work to determine whether it posses any environmental risk. The council said “no visible pollution” has been identified, and a team was expected to board the ship Tuesday.
The roughly 250-foot vessel was abandoned in October 2018 after the U.S. Coast Guard rescued its stranded crew that was without power.
The cargo ship, flying under a Tanzanian flag, was roughly 1,300 miles southeast of Bermuda when the U.S. Coast Guard received the distress call in September 2018.
The ship’s owner planned to send a tug to rescue it, and the Coast Guard airdropped supplies to the crew in the meantime.
When it became apparent the ocean going tug wasn’t going to work out, that’s when we went the sent (the rescue crew).
What happened to the ship next is unclear. The Coast Guard tracked the vessel for a few weeks so they could warn others in the area that the ship was abandoned, but they eventually stopped receiving reports of sightings and had no jurisdiction over the ship out in open water.
Storm Dennis has brought rough waters, heavy rains and strong winds to Ireland and the United Kingdom in recent days.
Cork County Council said it was consulting with the Irish Coast Guard and the country’s receiver of wrecks, an official who tends to wrecked ships, to determine MV Alta’s future.
Every flag state has different requirements for how to handle ships if a crew abandons it, but abandoning ships is not the norm.
Fox / ABC Flash Point Shipping News 2020.