Former Irish Naval vessel the LE Emer has been snapped up by a Nigerian marine company for €320,000 at an auction that lasted less than five minutes.
The 65-metre decommissioned ship could have a future operating as an offshore patrol vessel providing security to oil companies off the African coast.
The ship's new owners, Nigerian marine security and logistics providers Uniglobe, said they may use the vessel to provide security to oil tankers in the crime-hit Niger Delta.
Uniglobe CEO Cyprian Imobhio said he "got a good deal" – but would have preferred a lower price.
A final decision on the 35-year-old vessel's future will be made once refurbishment works – likely to be carried out in Cork – are completed, Mr Imobhio said.
Auctioneer Dominic Daly received a €100,000 offer from a Spanish bidder in advance of yesterday's auction at the Carrigaline Court Hotel in Cork. Bidding between three interested parties rose quickly to €250,000 before slowing to rise in bids of €10,000 to reach €320,000.
The LE Emer was stood down last month after a 35-year career with the Irish Navy. The €49m LE Samuel Beckett, currently under construction in the UK by Babcock Marine, is due for delivery in January.