‘Ghost ship’ from African coast washes up on Irish shore following Storm Dennis

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

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

A spokesman for the Waterford Coast Guard told the Irish Examiner the ship's current location was a result of the storm and they had checked it and found no one on board.

He also said the ship was not polluting the area.

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

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"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."

Mr Tattan said it was a wonder how it had not been detected by one of the fishing vessels off the south coast beforehand.

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

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

The Irish Coast Guard believe the ship is now safely snagged on the rocks but its future is up in the air.

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

The race is is now on to find the ship's owner.

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