Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat chief John Tattan told The Irish Examiner: 'This is one in a million.
Then, one year later, in September 2019, the Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Protector spotted it in the mid-Atlantic.
In a statement Cork County Council said it had convened its oil spill assessment team as part of contingency plans in response to the grounding of the ship.
Her 10 crew members spent 20 days on board the listless ship as it floated 1,380 miles (2,220 kilometres) southeast of Bermuda, before they were taken off by the crew of a US Coast Guard cutter.
"I have never, ever seen anything abandoned like that before".
The MV Alta cargo ship is shown during a U.S. Coast Guard effort to drop supplies for its crew in October 2018. Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard 5
"We closed the vessel to make contact and offer our assistance, but no one replied", according to the ship's Twitter feed.
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. Whilst investigations continue we're unable to give you more detail on this unusual event.
Measuring 77 metres in length, the MV Alta vessel had been drifting for well over a year, taking in the Americas, Africa and Europe during that time. It is believed that the ship has failed and crew members were rescued.
It is thought that the vessel is diesel fuelled meaning it poses less of risk of pollution than heavy fuel oil tanker.
The council warned that people should stay away from the wreck as it is located on a unsafe and inaccessible stretch of coastline and is in an unstable condition.
A contractor is set to board the vessel on Tuesday morning to carry out a further pollution risk assessment. Attempts to find the owner of the vessel were not successful.