THE Irish Coastguard and Naval Service have warned people to stay away from the wreck of the Tall Ship 'Astrid' amid fears items were stolen from the vessel.
The warning came as it emerged one of the three items feared taken was most likely ripped off by heavy seas within 48 hours of the accident off the Cork coast.
Officials said evidence indicates that the wood-and-brass wheel of the 95-year-old ship was almost certainly lost rather than removed.
However, the coastguard is investigating the fate of the ship's brass compass and bell.
While salvage experts and divers have queried whether anyone could have survived a night dive on the vessel between Oysterhaven and Kinsale, the Irish Coastguard is probing social media photos which indicate that individuals have been on the wreck since last Friday.