Cork ghost ship goes viral as people told to steer clear of wreck

TikTok video 'exploring' MV Alta has garnered over 831,000 views and almost 125,000 likes
Cork ghost ship goes viral as people told to steer clear of wreck

A screenshot from the viral TikTok of a person climbing the wreck. Picture: TikTok

A video of young people exploring the ghost ship that washed up on the Cork coast last year has caused concern from members of the public for being reckless.

Several people have since uploaded their own videos “exploring” the MV Alta that drifted from Bermuda to Ballycotton.

One viral video on TikTokhas garnered over 831,000 views and almost 125,000 likes.

TikTok has even attached a warning to one of the videos, saying “the actions in this video could result in serious injury or adverse health effects". 

Cork East TD Pat Buckley has appealed for people to “soak up the scenery from a distance” after being made aware of the online videos.

Viewing the wreck from a distance is fine, you can’t blame people for being curious, however, it’s simply not safe to enter the wreck.

The Sinn Féin TD spoke to a landlord in the area who is concerned about people crossing his land to get closer to the ship.

“One landlord is particularly concerned about the safety of people who climb on the wreck that's condition has seriously deteriorated from weathering.

A screenshot from the viral TikTok of a person climbing the wreck. Picture: TikTok
A screenshot from the viral TikTok of a person climbing the wreck. Picture: TikTok

“Currently, there is no one specific department responsible for the ship, so the landlord is worried he would be liable for any injuries that may occur from people trespassing.

“It’s also worth noting there could potentially be repercussions for those caught trespassing,” Mr Buckley said.

As travel restrictions have eased, people will be flocking to see it, especially as it has garnered more attention from the viral video.

“I’d advise all those that wish to see it to be mindful it is on private property, do not attempt to get on the ship, and don’t put yourself in any danger,” he said.

A report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the grounding of MV Alta at Ballyandreen Bay on February 16, 2020, during Storm Dennis, found it had drifted over 2,300 nautical miles for 496 days before being shipwrecked on the Irish coastline.

Cork County Council has said the vessel is a property that is in the charge of the Receiver of Wreck and “trespassing is prohibited.” It also advises that the wreck “is in an unstable condition and should not be approached by the public under any circumstances.” 

While the future of the vessel remains unknown, the council says it has engaged with government departments to seek their view on the future of the wreck and to seek funding assistance in the event of a significant intervention being required.

An environmental assessment is under way which will inform what interventions may be required next, the council added.

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