Ghost ships and the uncanny


Sir, – The MV Alta (News, February 17th) is neither the first, the last, nor even the most interesting ghost ship to land up on the Irish coast, or maybe any coast.

That accolade surely belongs to the Zorro Zaurre, a Spanish fishing vessel that was abandoned awash and thought to have sunk in the Bay of Biscay on November 30th, 2000, 140 miles south of Mizen Head, but eventually foundered on December 8th that year in Ireland.

The Zorro Zaurre survived for a full week, in which she travelled 160 unguided and unplanned nautical miles, unseen, barely floating and in her death throes, to come finally to rest forever in a foreign land on tiny Roancarrig Beg rock in Bantry Bay, immediately beside her sister ship, another Spanish fishing vessel wrecked there in 1990, the Nuestra Senora de Gardotza: same owner, same manufacturer, same birthplace and hometown in Spain a thousand miles away. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.