Mysterious ghost ship washes up in Ireland after floating through sea empty for nearly 17 months

‘This is one in a million’

A ghost ship washed up in Ireland on Feb. 16, 2020.
A ghost ship washed up in Ireland on Feb. 16, 2020. (Irish Coast Guard)

CORK, Ireland – A ship has been floating through the sea empty since its crew left it in October 2018.

The 10 person crew was rescued from the 252-foot ship by the U.S. Coast Guard about 1,300 miles southeast of Bermuda because it was disabled, the Irish Examiner reports.

Since then, the MV Alta cargo ship has been on a lone voyage until a jogger spotted it Sunday, washed up along the shoreline of Cork, Ireland.

Officials said the ship, which was built in 1976, likely ended up along the coast after a storm.

It was first seen last September off the coast of Africa.

John Tattan, the manager of the lifeboat operations station in Ballycotton, told the Examiner that the incident "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,” he said.

Tattan also noted that he was surprised the ship traveled alone with no people on fishing boats spotting it.

Crews are working to remove hazardous materials from the ship to prevention pollution as they work to remove it and figure out details about its past.

According to maritime news website, gCaptain, the listed owner of the ship was contacted after the crew’s rescue in 2018 to see if it would send a tugboat to get the boat. It is unknown if that happened.

The ship’s owners have up to a year to claim the mysterious ghost vessel, which has a Tanzanian flag.