Cork County Council 'continuing to monitor' grounded ghost ship one year on

Cork County Council 'continuing to monitor' grounded ghost ship one year on

Cork County Council engineers Cormac Manning and Brendan Minihane pictured during Cork County Council's operations to remove oil and other possible contaminants from the grounded cargo ship off the coast of Ballycotton, Cork.Picture: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Cork County Council has said it is engaging with specialist consultants to determine the next course of action regarding the shipwrecked MV Alta.

The so-called ghost ship was shipwrecked on Ballycotton rocks during Storm Dennis in February last year after spending a year and a half wandering the seas unmanned.

In a statement issued today, the council said they have been "working through a series of actions in line with its obligations under the Merchant Shipping Salvage and Wreck Act 1993" over the past year.

"The immediate response involved intervention to mitigate pollution risk arising from oils on board which was carried out in February 2020. 

"Structural assessment of the vessel was carried out in March 2020, repeated in October of the same year, and will continue every six months. 

"A final report on the environmental and ecological assessment of the wreck location was completed in September of last year," the council stated.

"Over the course of December 2020 and January 2021, the council recruited international specialist consultants to carry out an assessment to prepare an 'Inventory of Hazardous Materials' in the fabric of the vessel. 

The shipwrecked MV Alta, pictured in February last year. Picture: David Creedon / Anzenberger
The shipwrecked MV Alta, pictured in February last year. Picture: David Creedon / Anzenberger

"An environmental assessment of this inventory will inform what interventions may be required next," they continued.

The council also said they are continuing to liaise with the relevant state agencies. 

"The council has engaged with government departments to seek their view on the future of the wreck and to seek funding assistance in the event of a significant intervention being required."

The cargo ship has a complex and mysterious past.

In 2018, it had been abandoned by her crew near Bermuda ahead of a looming hurricane.

Six months before washing up in Cork, the ship was spotted off the coast of West Africa.

County council has said to date there has been no confirmation of ownership of the wreckage.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, appealed to the public to stay away from the shipwrecked MV Alta.

"Through its engineers, Roads team and local operators, Cork County Council was able to respond quickly and effectively to the grounding of the MV Alta, securing the dangerous site and mitigating pollution risk. 

"The ship presents a very real danger to anyone close to it, and due to its location, it is not safely accessible. 

"To respect the private property of the local landowners, and to avoid life-threatening injury I ask everyone to stay away from the wreckage," she said. 

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more