County Cork, Ireland, where the ship ended up.
Then, one year later, in September 2019, the Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Protector spotted it in the mid-Atlantic.
” Efforts might continue to recover her, however her future depend on the hands of others,” HMS Protector tweeted, having determined that there were no team on board.
Who is responsible for ghost ships?
Normally, harmed or sunken ships stay the property of their owners, who are accountable for protecting a service, the director of coastal operations for the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Robert McCabe, told BBC News.
Nevertheless, if such a vessel is considered a risk to shipping, regional authorities may make efforts to tow it away.
” They’ve had a number of incidents in the Irish Sea like that – if there is no owner, the Commissioners of Irish Lights get involved,” said Mr McCabe.
” To have a ship wandering around like that for 18 months is not typical,” he added. “For it to have been spotted simply once since October 2018 just demonstrates how vast the ocean is.”
He said current bad weather may have suggested fewer ships were at sea and in a position to have seen it.
What might occur next?
There is no noticeable pollution dripping from the ship, according to ecological researchers who visited Ballycotton on Monday, discussed Cork County Council.
Cork County Council, the Irish Coastguard and the Receiver of Wreck will choose what will happen to the ship, however Mr McCabe recommends that salvaging it would be pricey.
And there are still puzzles in the Alta’s story that remains to be solved: who is its owner? And what was the freight on board at the time it was abandoned? Responses may just be forthcoming once a choice on what to do with the Alta is reached.