19 February 2020, Wednesday
By Elaine Murphy
The cargo ship ran aground in Ballycotton on Sunday (16 February 2020), some six thousand kilometres since its crew abandoned it back in September 2018 when its engines failed over a thousand kilometres from Bermuda.
Cork County Council’s Oil Spill Assessment Team convened again today as part of its Oil Spill Contingency Plan in response to the grounding of a cargo ship in Ballycotton, Co. Cork.
Cork County Council’s marine contractor boarded the vessel again this morning and was able to carry out a full assessment of the materials aboard. All compartments were accessed and there is very little diesel fuel onboard.
A number of options are currently being evaluated in order to safely remove the sealed containers of oil and other materials identified yesterday which may pose a pollution risk in the event of their spillage.
Consultations are continuing between the Irish Coastguard, Cork County Council, the Receiver of Wrecks and other relevant bodies in relation to the future of the wreck. The Revenue Commissioners are currently in the process of seeking to establish ownership of the wreck.
There remains no visible pollution within the Ballycotton Bay Special Protection Area or nearby proposed Natural Heritage Areas.
Cork County Council continues to ask members of the public to stay away from the wreck location as it is located on a dangerous and inaccessible stretch of coastline and is in an unstable condition.
Cork County Council’s County Engineer Kevin Morey indicated a helicopter will be likely used to extract the waste oil from the ship