Mystery over 'ghost ship' which washed up at shore and crashed after 43 days

A mysterious “ghost ship” washed up off the coast of Ireland with no crew member in sight after it was abandoned two years ago.

The abandoned ship could drift in Irish waters for up to 43 days without reporting before crashing into the rocks off the coast of Cork.

Investigators found the MV Alta completely empty after traveling more than 2,300 nautical miles for 496 days Cork Beo.

The conspiracy deepened when they learned that the merchant ship had been abandoned by its crew some 1,400 miles southeast of Bermuda in October 2018.

Seafarers fled the boat, registered in Tanzania in 1976, after it was irreparably hindered on its journey from Greece to Haiti.

It was last discovered by a British Royal Navy ship in the middle of the Atlantic in September 2019 before mysteriously arriving in Irish waters five months later.

Eerie footage now shows how the derelict MV Alta was hit by recent storms as it broke up on the Cork coast.

The specialized boat builder Safehaven Marine completed the video along with an overview of the creepy ship.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) reported that the abandoned MV Alta arrived at Ballyandreen Bay, Co. Cork during Storm Dennis in February 2020.

The MCIB said the ship was stateless, abandoned and without power, with no operational automatic identification system to alert Irish authorities to the drifting ship.

It emerged that the Irish Coast Guard and the Maritime Service were unable to identify the ship’s position or identity when approaching national waters due to the lack of an active tracking system on board.

As a result, the mysterious ship was classified as “a significant navigational hazard to commercial and leisure vessels in its vicinity”.

Mystery over 'ghost ship' which washed up at shore and crashed after 43 days 1

Mystery over 'ghost ship' which washed up at shore and crashed after 43 days 2

An MCIB spokesman said: “The only protection these ships had was trust in their on-board radar systems and the diligence of the bridge and wheelhouse guards to keep a good look, especially at times or when visibility was limited.”

Also, the ship’s main tanks were empty and open to the sea, the report said.

Pollution from the stormy conditions of Storm Dennis was believed to have resulted in pollution when it washed ashore in Cork.

The ship’s last registered owner was a Miami-based company called Alta Sg LLC.

However, the company’s flag certificate, which expired in September 2018, was not renewed – two days before the planned completion of his trip to Haiti.

The MCIB confirmed that ownership of the ship is currently unknown and that the ship had not been registered for the entire portion of the voyage until it was abandoned.

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Mystery over 'ghost ship' which washed up at shore and crashed after 43 days 4

It was removed from the register of Tanzania in 2018 after it was abandoned.

The authority said it was obliged to conduct an investigation into the grounding of the MV Alta, as the pollution emanating from the ship was classified as an accident.

Though an object of curiosity, it warned that the ship posed a potential threat to environmental pollution, both materially and visually, as it would inevitably degrade into “an unsightly cluster of rusting plates and plastic wreckage” over time.

It added: “The likelihood of pollution if the wreck is broken open is high and will remain so until the wreck is removed.”

The cost of moving will likely be borne by the state.

MCIB investigators are now recommending that Irish ministers form a working group with the relevant government agencies to investigate the risks and potential costs of derelict ships.

They suggest that this group would include Secretary of Transportation Eamon Ryan, Secretary of Defense Simon Coveney, and Secretary of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.


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