‘Ghost ship’ washes up in British Isles following Storm Dennis

A ghost ship which was spotted off the coast of Africa six months ago has washed up on the Irish shore following Storm Dennis.

The 77-metre MV Alta cargo ship, which is sailing under a Tanzanian flag, was spotted in Ballycotton, County Cork on Sunday morning.

A stunned local jagger had come across the abandoned vessel believed to have been washed ashore by Storm Dennis’s gale-force winds.

A spokesman for the Waterford Coast Guard said the ship’s location was a result of the storm and that they had gone to inspect the ship.

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He said no one was found on board the ship which is firmly caught on rocks off the shore of Ballycotton.

Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat Operations manager John Tattan said: "This is one in a million.

"It has come all the way up from the African coast, west of the Spanish coast, west of the English coast and up to the Irish coast.

"I have never, ever seen anything abandoned like that before."

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Mystery continues to surround how the cargo ship, built in 1976, ended up floating around the Atlantic Ocean without anyone on board.

Last September it was reported that the UK Royal Navy's Devonport-based HMS Protector had spotted it in the Mid-Atlantic.

The ship was also spotted 1,300 miles southeast of Bermuda with 10 crew on board in September 2018.

It is believed the crew were rescued.

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There is also speculation that it may have previously been hijacked, at least once if not, twice, over its lifetime.

The Irish Coast Guard believe the ship is now safely snagged on the rocks, although it is unsure what happens to it now.

If it did begin to float again, because of another storm or an extremely high tide, it could also pose problems.

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