The 77 meter long, 1640 dwt cargo vessel Alta went ashore off Ballycotton, Cork, Ireland. The Alta had been blown ashore by Storm Dennis. Local authorities dispatched a helicopter and found the Alta was high and dry on the rocks. An inspection found the vessel had been a derelict for some time just like the Mary Celeste. No reports of pollution.
Unlike prior ghost ships in the Atlantic Ocean, there are accounts of the Alta. The Alta had been last reported in September 2019 when it was found abandoned in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The Royal Navy HMS Protector found the Alta over 1000 miles from the Caribbean Sea and 1500 miles off Africa.
An investigation found the vessel had originally departed from Greece and was en route to Haiti in October 2018 when it became disabled. The 10 crew had abandoned ship and spent 20 days in lifeboats before the United States Coast Guard rescued them. Reports state the ship’s owner had contracted a tug to take the Alta under tow to Saint Maarten, but this proved to be false. Between 2018 and 2019, the Alta had been reported as hijacked off Guyana before it was left abandoned.
The 17.5 meter long wooden catamaran ferry Butiraoi was reported missing in the Pacific Ocean in the Kiribati Islands. The Butiraoi had departed from Nonouti on January 18 bound for Betio. The voyage of 160 miles typically takes 2 days to complete failed to arrive on January 20. A search began for the missing vessel including aircraft from New Zealand and Fiji.
Reports state no signs of the vessel or the 50 persons on board as of January 26. The search includes many small atolls in a wide area. Additional reports state the catamaran had undergone repairs to its propeller shaft just before departing Nonouti.
A New Zealand aircraft spotted seven survivors in a small boat on a search on January 28. The aircraft dropped supplies to the survivors while authorities requested assistance from vessels in the area. The fishing vessel Lomalo which is 92 kilometers away from the survivors is expected to reach the survivors later the same day.
Survivors have told authorities over radio that the ferry had lost stability and capsized. They had little time and had just enough time to get into the small dinghy before the ferry sank. The dinghy had no engine or water on board.
Reports state additional debris has been spotted in the search area.
On February 11, the 98 foot long fishing vessel Destination was reported missing and presumed lost in the Bering Sea northwest of St. George Island, Alaska. The Coast Guard received an automated EPIRB signal (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) from the fishing vessel around 7:15 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Coast Guard dispatched helicopters and directed two nearby vessels to search for the Destination. Citizens on St. George Island began searching the shoreline for possible survivors or any signs of the fishing vessel.
By 10 a.m. the beacon was found in a debris field that included a buoy and life ring that had the fishing vessel’s name on it. An oil sheen was visible in the water indicating the vessel may have foundered in the vicinity.
Conditions were reported to be typical in the area with snow showers, waves reaching 2 to 3 meters and winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour.
The Coast Guard confirmed there were six crew on board the Destination when the vessel departed from Seattle.
A Coast Guard cutter from Dutch Harbor was dispatched and expected to be on site to aid in the search and rescue efforts.