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Tourists Warned to Stay Away from Wrecked "Ghost Ship" Off County Cork

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Image courtesy Cork County Council

By The Maritime Executive 02-24-2020 08:36:00

The wreck of the freighter Alta is proving to be a nuisance for landowners along the coast of Ballycotton Bay, County Cork, but not for reasons of pollution. She has very little diesel fuel left on board, according to Cork County Council, and no signs of a spill have been reported. However, there are other impacts: the ship is attracting relatively large numbers of tourists, many of whom are eager to capture their own photos from the (privately-owned) cliffside and post them to Instagram.

At least one image indicates that private drones were on hand to monitor salvage workers at close range. Others suggest that the photographer climbed down onto the rocks adjacent to the ship. 

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#mvalta #ghostship #Ballycotton

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MV Alta Built in 1976, the 77-metre MV Alta has attracted worldwide attention, having drifted unmanned across the Atlantic in a voyage that began in September 2018. It had been travelling from Greece to Haiti when it ran into trouble and became disabled over 2,000 km south-east of Bermuda. The 10 crew members were rescued by the US coastguard and brought to Puerto Rico. It is believed the ship was towed to Guyana but later hijacked twice. It was spotted by a Royal Navy ice patrol ship in mid-Atlantic in September 2019, apparently unmanned. It finally ran aground at Ballycotton during Storm Dennis on February. . . #ballycotton #cork #cliff #mvalta #shipwreck #ireland #instagram #ghostship #loveireland #lovecork #visitireland #irelanddaily #ireland_gram #discoverireland #irelandinspires #ireland_insta #wanderlust #nature #waves #sea #irishlife #ireland_passion #topirelandphoto #irelandtravel #abandoned #grounded #white #stormy #blue #stormdennis

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In a statement, Cork County Council says that it has restricted access to the local cul-de-sac road adjacent to the wreck, with access for residents only. It also advises that the lands along this stretch of shoreline "are in private ownership and are not open to the public." In addition to the question of property rights, the Council has asked the public to stay away from the wreck site because it is in unstable condition and is located in a dangerous and inaccessible area.

The Council has hired contractors to remove the remaining petroleum aboard the Alta, including hydraulic oil and the contents of fuel tanks for miscellaneous light machinery. The crew has transferred steel drums over to the vessel and will pump the remaining petroleum into them, then fly the drums off the ship by helicopter. 

Irish authorities say that an entity has stepped forward to claim ownership of the Alta, according to DW. Shipowners have up to a year to lay claim to salvage rights for a lost vessel on Irish shores.