Wreckage cleared from Branscombe

The operation to salvage the MSC Napoli, the cargo ship which was deliberately grounded off the Devon coast in 2007 has finally been declared completed.

The MSC Napoli was beached off Branscombe in Devon in January 2007 after being storm damaged in the English Channel.

The Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) said work had taken 924 days. It cost an estimated £50million.

Thousands of scavengers flocked to Devon where about 50 of the stricken ship’s 2,400 containers washed ashore.

The vessel was en-route from Antwerp to South Africa when its hull cracked during a storm off the Lizard. Its crew had to be airlifted to safety by Royal Navy helicopters.

It was being taken to Portland in Dorset when the decision was taken to deliberately ground the vessel to try to prevent pollution damage to the world heritage Jurassic coast.

Thousands of scavengers descended on Branscombe beach and the ship’s containers. BMW motorbikes, pet food, anti-wrinkle cream, wine barrels and nappies were among the goods taken from the beach.