Small amount of fuel found on grounded Alta

A small amount of fuel has been found in tanks of cargo ship Alta (IMO 7432305), which ran aground near Ballycotton in east Cork, Ireland on February 16th. There was no cargo on board, according to an initial report by marine contractors who boarded the vessel at low tide during the morning of February 18th at the request of Cork County Council and the Irish Coast Guard.

The Alta had been abandoned and adrift in the Atlantic for about 18 months before coming to rest on Ireland’s shores.

Surveyors were unable to check all of the ship’s fuel tanks because some of them were in inaccessible compartments that had been flooded by sea water. Those tanks were scheduled to have the sea water pumped out on February 19th so that contractors can finish the risk assessment.

The local council expressed concern at reports that members of the public had boarded the wreck, which it said was extremely dangerous and could pose a risk to life. It is also asking members of the public to stay away from the vessel location, which is on a dangerous and inaccessible stretch of coastline. The vessel is also in an unstable condition, precariously lodged on rocks in an inlet on the outskirts of Ballycotton.

After a meeting the Cork County Council’s Oil Spill Assessment Team said that consultations on the future of the wreck were continuing between the local authority, the Irish Coast Guard and the Receiver of Wreck.