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MV Alta

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MV Alta, Co. Cork, February 2020.jpg
MV Alta aground at Ballyandreen, Co. Cork
History
Name:
  • 2017-: Alta
  • 2015-2017: Elias
  • 2013-2015: Avantis I
  • 2000-2013: Avantis II
  • 1993-2000: Polar Trader
  • 1990-1993: Pomar Murman
  • 1976-1990: Tananger[1]
Port of registry: Panama
Launched: 17 March 1976
Identification:
Fate: Abandoned in October 2018; currently grounded at Ballycotton, County Cork, Ireland
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2295 t
Length: 77.32 m (253 ft 8 in)
Installed power: Diesel
Speed: 7.2 knots (13.3 km/h; 8.3 mph)
Capacity: 1640 t DWT

MV Alta is an abandoned Panamanian-flagged merchant vessel built in 1976.[2] Alta was abandoned in October 2018 after a US Coast Guard relief operation to rescue the crew about 2,200 km (1,400 mi) south-east of Bermuda, stranded after the ship was rendered irreparably disabled on a voyage from Greece to Haiti.[3] The ghost ship was then sighted by HMS Protector en route to the Bahamas.

In February 2020, the ghost ship Alta ran aground on the Irish coast near Ballycotton, Cork amid Storm Dennis.[4][5] The rare story of a modern day ghost ship, as well as the length of time it spent floating without crew or captain at sea (18 months), has caught the global public's imagination and curiosity.[6]

The responsibility of the wreck fell to Irish Minister for the Marine as per the Salvage and Wreck Act 1993, until a receiver of wreck is appointed. Despite efforts to determine the ownership of the ship—so that the Irish state can try to recover costs incurred[7]—as of 10 May 2020 ownership had not been established.[8] Although the ship's commercial scrap value is "low," the cost to the Irish exchequer of removing the wreck could exceed €10 million.[9] Alta had previously been the subject of an ownership dispute, with claims it was once hijacked and towed to Guyana, but efforts have been made to establish where it was last registered. Some reports suggest the ship was sailing under a Panamanian flag when its crew were rescued and it was abandoned in October 2018, while other reports suggest it was registered in Tanzania.[5][10] Sixty-two full barrels of oil were ultimately removed from the wreck by helicopter.[11]

References

  1. ^ "M/S Tananger - Sjøhistorie". www.sjohistorie.no. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  2. ^ "ALTA: Vessel Details". marinetraffic.com. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  3. ^ Gary Dixon (5 September 2019). "Mystery cargoship found drifting in mid-Atlantic". Trade Winds News. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  4. ^ Roche, Barry (16 February 2020). "Storm Dennis washes abandoned 'ghost ship' onto rocks off Co Cork". Irish Times. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Storm Dennis: 'Ghost ship' washes up on Irish coast". BBC News. 17 February 2020.
  6. ^ "In Ireland, shipwrecked MV Alta ran aground after floating around the world without crew or captain for a YEAR. Authorities are struggling to find out..." outl.it. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  7. ^ "Contractor to board Cork 'ghost ship' at low tide tomorrow morning". The Journal. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  8. ^ O'Sullivan, Jennie (May 4, 2020). "MV Alta could cost €10m to salvage - expert" – via www.rte.ie. Cite journal requires |journal=
  9. ^ Carroll, Rory (5 May 2020). "Ireland faces bill for millions to remove 'ghost ship' from rocks". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Storm Dennis sends abandoned cargo ship to Ireland". Marine Industry News. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  11. ^ Burke, Róisín (26 February 2020). "Almost 100 oil barrels removed from ghost ship; Council now closing down the wreck". The Echo. Retrieved 27 February 2020.

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