‘Ghost ship’ washes ashore in Ireland after Storm Dennis

The abandoned MV Alta cargo ship on the rocks off the coast of Ballycotton, County Cork, Ireland. (AFP)
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Updated 18 February 2020

‘Ghost ship’ washes ashore in Ireland after Storm Dennis

  • The abandoned 77-meter (250-feet) cargo ship MV Alta ran aground on rocks near the village of Ballycotton in County Cork
  • The Alta’s odyssey began in September 2018 when she became disabled in the mid-Atlantic en route from Greece to Haiti

BALLYCOTTON, Ireland: A “ghost ship” drifting without a crew for more than a year washed ashore on Ireland’s south coast in high seas caused by Storm Dennis, the Republic’s coast guard said.
The abandoned 77-meter (250-feet) cargo ship MV Alta ran aground on rocks near the village of Ballycotton in County Cork, Ireland’s second city, bringing an end to her months-long voyage.
The Alta’s odyssey began in September 2018 when she became disabled in the mid-Atlantic en route from Greece to Haiti.
Her 10 crew members spent 20 days on board the listless ship as it floated 1,380 miles (2,220 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, before they were taken off by the crew of a US Coast Guard cutter.
At the time the US Coast Guard said it was working with the then Tanzanian-flagged ship’s owner to arrange a tug back to shore.
But the question of her subsequent movements then become clouded.
Maritime news site Fleetmon reported receiving correspondence from the alleged owner, saying the ship had been twice hijacked from Guyana in the process of being salvaged.
The next official sighting of the 44-year-old vessel came in August 2019 when British Royal Navy ice patrol ship the HMS Protector found the Alta floating crewless in the mid-Atlantic.
“We closed the vessel to make contact and offer our assistance, but no one replied,” according to the ship’s Twitter feed.
The Alta’s journey ended on the rocks over the weekend as Storm Dennis raged, lashing Ireland with heavy rain and winds up to 110 kilometers (70 miles) per hour.
The Irish Coast Guard said a rescue helicopter was sent to the scene on Sunday but no crew was found.
Cork County Council said Monday there was no sign of pollution spills in the area around the ship and that a contractor would board the vessel at low tide on Tuesday for a further assessment.
“Consultations are continuing between the Irish Coast Guard, Cork County Council, the Receiver of Wrecks and other relevant bodies in relation to the future of the wreck,” it said in a statement.


Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents

Updated 04 June 2020

Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents

  • US state allowed a partial relaxing of restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic
  • Elective medical procedures resume, including Botox injections and cosmetic surgery

MIAMI: Quarantined Florida residents worried about their laughter lines and crows’ feet need frown no longer — Botox is back, and it’s being offered at a drive-through.
On May 4, the US state allowed a partial relaxing of restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic. That means certain elective medical procedures could resume, including Botox injections and cosmetic surgery.
Michael Salzhauer, a plastic surgeon known as ‘Dr. Miami’ who has also starred in a reality television show, has been conducting drive-through Botox injections in the garage of his building in the posh Miami neighborhood of Bal Harbor.
Salzhauer said the idea struck him as he was sitting in his car waiting for a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies.
“The areas that we inject Botox are the upper face, exactly the parts of the face that aren’t covered by the mask so it’s really ideal,” Salzhauer said, while wearing a mask, face shield and surgical gown as he waited for his next drive-up patient.
Patients sign up online, paying an average of $600 each for a stippling of shots across their foreheads.
Arman Ohevshalom, 36, was enthusiastic as he waited in line with his wife in their car, although it was their first time receiving the injections.
“It’s very creative, and after seeing how they’re running it I feel just as comfortable as I would in the office,” he said.
Florida’s tattoo artists, however, are frustrated. Shuttered since March, they asking why they cannot open, too.
Botox injections are “kind of like tattooing, he’s injecting stuff into the skin,” said tattoo shop owner Chico Cortez. Florida is home to about 10,000 working tattoo artists, according to the Florida Professional Tattoo Artist Guild.
An emailed statement from a Miami-Dade County spokesperson said Mayor Carlos Gimenez has yet to set a date for reopening tattoo shops. “He is working with industry members and the medical experts to come up with the best way to reopen safely,” it said.