Cork County Council has said it is continuing to monitor the potential environmental and ecological impact of the MV Alta, a wrecked cargo ship grounded in Ballyandreane, Ballycotton. The vessel was grounded on February 16 of last year. Since then, the council said it has been working on a series of actions on the MV Alta, in line with obligations under the Merchant Shipping Salvage and Wreck Act, 1993.
In February 2020, work was done to mitigate the potential pollution risk posed by oils on board the vessel. In March and October, structural assessments of the ship were carried out. Another assessment is being carried out this month. The council said a final report on the environmental and ecological assessment the wreck was completed last September.
Then, in December 2020, and last month, a team of international specialist consultants carried out an inventory of hazardous materials contained within the fabric of the vessel itself. It is understood that the result of this inventory will determine what actions will be required going forward. Cork County Council said it is continuing to liaise with the relevant State agencies and has sought the view of relevant Government departments on the future of the MV Alta. There has still been no confirmation as to who exactly owns the wreckage.
Mayor of County of Cork Mary Linehan Foley said that, with the assistance of qualified personnel, the council was able to “respond quickly and effectively to the grounding of the MV Alta, securing the dangerous site and mitigating pollution risk.” “The ship presents a very real danger to anyone close to it, and due to its location, it is not safely accessible,” she said. Mayor Linehan urged the public to “avoid life-threatening injury and stay away from the wreckage”.
Source – Irish Examiner | Image – Oisín Keniry