A US Coast Guard boat has washed up near the Aran Islands in Ireland.
A vessel initially believed to be from the US Coast Guard washed up in Irish waters earlier this week. On Monday afternoon, the Doolin Ferry Company spotted the boat floating in the water while en route from Doolin to Inis Óirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands.
"At 1.30 yesterday the crew of the Doolin Express spotted something floating in the water on the way to Inis Oírr," said a Facebook post from Doolin Ferry Co on Tuesday.
"They went to investigate and found a boat floating in the water. We sent one of our crews and ferry to tow the boat (with the help of a local fishing boat ) to the beach on Inis Oírr. Lots of islanders helped to bring it up on to the beach. It turns out it came from the USA and is a US Fast Military Rescue Boat!
At 1.30 yesterday the crew of the Doolin Express spotted something floating in the water on the way to Inis Oírr. They...Publiée par Doolin Ferry Co sur Mardi 3 septembre 2019
"It’s been in the water quite a while but we would love to find out what happened to it and how it ended up close to Inis Oírr! Anyone have any ideas?"
There was growth on the boat to suggest it had been in the water for some time but the serial number was still visible and it still has its two engines attached.
After launching a social media search, Doolin Ferry Company have now, thankfully, confirmed the origins of the boat.
“Our original investigations led us to believe that it was a rapid rescue boat belonging to the US Coast Guard,” said a statement from the company.
“We launched an appeal on our social media for more information and after thousands of shares, national news coverage and many phone calls and suggestions we think we have gotten to the bottom of this intriguing mystery!
“We believe the boat originated in Norfolk, Virginia, and it's not actually a rescue boat but actually a High-Speed Maneuverable Surface Targets, or HSMST. Essentially, they are remotely operated and used as target practice by the US Navy!
“This boat was built in 2015 and it's likely that it was lost during a training exercise and it remained in the water drifting until it ended up in the water close to Inis Oirr and was discovered by the crew of the Doolin Express!
“How cool is that?!”
“We couldn’t have predicted the interest from the public that there has been in this boat,” said Liam O’Brien, owner of Doolin Ferry Company
“There was a lot of growth on it, it had clearly been there for a long time. We already have a shipwreck on the island, so everyone’s saying this is the new one. This is definitely the most unusual thing we have discovered and it’s drawing in lots of tourists to the area.”
Have you visited the Aran Islands? Let us know in the comments section, below.