Public urged to stay away from abandoned cargo ship washed up on Cork coastline

Members of the public have been warned to stay away from an abandoned cargo ship that washed up on the coast during Storm Dennis on Sunday.

Cork County Council said its team of scientists visited the area on Monday and are satisfied that there is currently no visible pollution within the Ballycotton Bay Special Protection Area or nearby proposed natural heritage areas.

In a statement, Cork County Council said it had convened its oil spill assessment team as part of contingency plans in response to the grounding of the ship, the MV Alta.

It is monitoring the ship in relation to any possible oil spillage or risk arising from its cargo.

The council said on Monday: “Following an appropriate risk assessment, the contractor will board the vessel at the next suitable opportunity, which is expected to be at low tide tomorrow morning, Tuesday February 18, at approximately 7am.

“Any risk in relation to oil, other hazardous substances and pollution from the vessel will be evaluated.”

The council said that people should stay away from the wreck as it is located on a dangerous and inaccessible stretch of coastline and is in an unstable condition.

It said further information will be made available as soon as possible on Tuesday.

The abandoned cargo ship that has had no crew since 2018 washed up on the coast of Co Cork during Storm Dennis.

In 2018, the MV Alta had 10 crew members aboard who were rescued by the US Coast Guard.

Since September 2018, the ship has been drifting with no one aboard. It was last seen off the coast of West Africa before it washed up near Ballycotton.

On September 2 2019, the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship, HMS Protector, posted on Twitter that its crew had spotted the ship in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

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