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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 19 June 2021

'Very little fuel' on board shipwreck that washed ashore in Cork

No final decisions have yet been taken about the future of the vessel.

The ship washed up onshore on Sunday.
The ship washed up onshore on Sunday.
Image: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision Photography

EXPERTS HAVE AGAIN boarded the stricken vessel that washed up on the Cork coast and have assessed that there is “very little diesel fuel on board”. 

A Cork County Council team has been tasked with assessing the potential for an oil spill from the MV Alta and it provided an update today, saying that options are now being explored to safely remove the oil that is on board.  

The abandoned cargo ship had been drifting across the Atlantic for the last sixteen months before it came aground on Ireland’s south coast during Storm Dennis over the weekend. 

In a statement today, Cork County Council said no final decisions have yet been taken about the future of the vessel. 

The statement read: 

Cork County Council’s marine contractor boarded the vessel again this morning and was able to carry out a full assessment of the materials aboard.  All compartments were accessed and there is very little diesel fuel on board. A number of options are currently being evaluated in order to safely remove the sealed containers of oil and other materials identified yesterday which may pose a pollution risk in the event of their spillage.

Consultations are continuing between the Irish Coastguard, Cork County Council, the Receiver of Wrecks and other relevant bodies in relation to the future of the wreck.  The Revenue Commissioners are currently in the process of seeking to establishing ownership of the wreck.

“There remains no visible pollution within the Ballycotton Bay Special Protection Area or nearby proposed Natural Heritage Areas,” Cork County Council adds. 

As the ship has washed up on Irish shores, it’s the Irish State that is ultimately responsible for the wreck but it can seek to recover the costs against the vessel owners at a future date. 

The council is again asking members of the public to stay away from the wreck location due to the danger of the coastline and the ship’s instability. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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