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Abandoned Cargo Ship Found Drifting in the Mid-Atlantic

PortandTerminal.com, September 5, 2019

The British Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS PROTECTOR on September 3rd posted TWITTER photos and a short report of an abandoned ship, spotted in the middle of the Atlantic. There were no people aboard and the ship and looked like it had been abandoned for some time.

Although the ship’s identity has not been confirmed, it is widely speculated to be the M/V Alta, which was abandoned back in October 2018 approximately 1,380 miles (2,220 km) southeast of Bermuda.

The ALTA is a Tanzanian flagged general cargo ship that was built in 1976. Not a new ship by any standards.

A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, airdrops one weeks worth of food to the disabled cargo ship, Alta, approximately 1380 miles southeast of Bermuda, Oct. 2, 2018. The Alta became disabled while in transit from Greece to Haiti. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Elizabeth City)

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued Alta’s 10 crew members back in 2018 who were stranded aboard the disabled ship for almost 20 days and running low on food and water. The Coast Guard says it was initially notified on September 30, 2018, that the 250-foot (76 meters) cargo ship became disabled while transiting from Greece to Haiti, and the crew was unable to make repairs.

So why has the vessel been left abandoned all of this time? Perhaps recovery of the vessel was too expensive for the vessels owners.

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