Biscuits among cargo washed ashore from stricken ship

16th February 2007

Biscuits, chocolates and potatoes are the latest items to wash up on a beach near a grounded cargo ship.

They were among seven more containers from the damaged 62,000-tonne Napoli which is stranded off the south west coast of England, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

Hundreds of what look like chocolate biscuits washed up on the Devon beach

The latest cargo lost off Sidmouth, Devon, was a set of three linked 40ft containers, two 20ft linked containers and two 40ft linked containers.

There were no dangerous goods in the cargo - the containers were carrying a variety of goods including electrical appliances, King Edward potatoes, engine parts and used office supplies, said the MCA.

The containers all came ashore in the inaccessible and rocky area between Branscombe and Sidmouth.

Coastguard personnel and contractors were on site with security officers and the police, ensuring the area is completely shut off to the public, said the MCA.

The Napoli was grounded a mile off Sidmouth on January 20 when it was feared she would go down during a tow to Portland, Dorset, having suffered damage in a Channel storm during which her 26 crew were rescued.

The Napoli was carrying 2,300 containers, 103 of which were lost overboard when she first grounded.

Of that number, 57 were washed ashore at Branscombe - sparking a looting frenzy - and 47 were still being sought by the authorities.

A total of 342 containers have been lifted from the vessel, including 28 taken off on Wednesday when work resumed after a week-long break because of bad weather.

Zodiac Maritime, operator of the Napoli, said today that all but an estimated 100 tonnes was left of the 3,500 tonnes of oil on the vessel, and pumping was continuing.

The Receiver of Wreck said that thousands of items recovered from the beached containers by members of the public had been reported in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act.

The deadline for reporting items to the Receiver is Tuesday 20 February, and failure to do so is a criminal offence, said a spokesman for the Receiver.

A number of the 17 BMW motorbikes recovered from the beach are among the items reported.