By Kate Harrold
JOURNEY inside one of Ireland’s OLDEST abandoned ships – which was once one of the first responders to a PLANE CRASH with no survivors.
In one aerial image, torn sheets of tarpaulin were spread across the ship’s deteriorated roof which had largely rotted and corroded away, offering a glimpse into the ship’s eerie interior.
In another, protest graffiti could be seen on the side of the ferry. It read ‘save our ship,’ and ‘Ireland – don’t scrap me,’ showcasing the local importance of the vessel.
The incredible images were captured by hobbyist urban explorer Cathal (48) from Dublin, Ireland, who is known online as Uncharted Ireland. Cathal spent several hours exploring the abandoned MV Naomh Éanna ferry which is docked in his home city.
The Naomh Éanna was built in 1958, making it one of the oldest surviving ships in Ireland. Originally, the ship provided connections to the Aran Islands, but the ship was taken out of service in the late 1980s and has since been docked in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock.
The ship is perhaps best known for being one of the first responders following the loss of KLM flight 607-E in August of 1958. The ferry had been operating for just three months when the call came in.
KLM flight 607-E departed from a stopover at Shannon Airport, Ireland, on August 14, 1958, carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members. The flight was bound for New York City, USA, but during the transatlantic portion of the trip, all communications were lost.
Search parties, including the MV Naomh Éanna, were deployed but unfortunately when the plane was found, all passengers had died from the crash. Investigators were only able to retrieve the remains of 34 passengers.
Investigators were unable to pinpoint a reason for the crash. The most likely reason is that the plane experienced a mechanical failure, but piloting errors, electrical failures, and bomb explosions have also been cited as possible causes.
“Growing up, a lot of my family were seaman and dockers, so I’ve always had a great interest in the high seas and ships in general” Cathal said.
“The Naomh Éanna is a ship I’ve admired for years from a distance before my recent adventure onboard. In terms of the interior, unfortunately, all that really remains is a shell.
“I have been on board twice. The first time, I accessed the ship via a ladder with the intention of spending about an hour on board but whilst I was in the lower section, the wind moved the ship ten feet away from the bank, so we spent a couple of hours waiting for it to move back.
“I know many who were involved with the ship are saddened by its decline.
“I’m just glad I got the opportunity to venture on board while I had the chance as I understand it’s going to be dismantled.”
Since its decommissioning, the MV Naomh Éanna has housed a surf shop and sailmakers but the ship is now set for deconstruction and demolition – much to the outcry of locals who are protesting this.
For more, see @uncharted_ireland.