A shipwreck on England’s south-west shores has become a major scavenge for spoils. The MSC Napoli was deliberately run aground by its crew last Thursday to stop it from sinking after it was holed during last Thursday’s storms. But beached containers filled with everything from car parts to nappies and at least one BMW motorbike have brought hundreds to Branscombe in Devon.
Failure to report recovered items within 28 days is a crime, and with police powerless to act, people here are willing to take the chance that the real owners won’t come asking for their goods back. Meanwhile, a race against time is underway to prevent the ship from spilling 3,500 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.
The Napoli has already lost waste oil and coastguards say there’s potentially dangerous materials in some of its containers. Salvage teams say the operation to pump out the remaining fuel will take several days because the viscous, sludge like fuel needs to be heated up before its removed.