Helicopter will remove barrels on Cork 'ghost' ship

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shipwreckImage source, Cork County Council
Image caption,
The vessel appears to have drifted thousands of miles over more than a year

Barrels filled with oil and diesel will be removed by helicopter from a "ghost" cargo ship that washed up in Cork.

The ship got stuck on rocks near Ballycotton earlier this week following strong winds from Storm Dennis.

The 80-metre vessel has drifted thousands of miles since being abandoned by its crew who were sailing from Greece to Haiti in 2018.

It was last spotted in September 2019 by a British Royal Navy ship in the mid-Atlantic.

Cork County Council's marine contractor has begun making preparations for the safe removal of sealed containers of diesel and hydraulic oil.

On Friday, barrels were delivered onto the ship as part of the council's operation.

Their removal weather dependent and is unlikely to take place before next week.

An individual claiming to represent the owner of the ship, named the MV Alta, made contact with the Republic of Ireland's Revenue Commissioners earlier this week.

A Revenue spokesperson told RTÉ that the Receiver of Wreck, the official who administers law dealing with maritime wrecks, will be pursuing the matter further.