Grounded MSC Napoli to be Refloated

Monday, July 09, 2007
According to reports, work will begin on Monday to refloat the container vessel MSC Napoli six months after it ran aground off the Devon coast, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said.

Engineers will aim to pump out 58,000 tons of water during the next three days in an attempt to prevent it breaking up and damaging the environment.

A barge with winches and cranes, along with tugs and an anti-pollution vessel are at sea to help in the operation.

More than two thousand containers and 3,000 tons of fuel oil have already been removed from the vessel which was deliberately beached off Branscome in January to prevent it sinking after being holed during storms. About 200 containers fell off and some reached the shore, sparking a looting spree.

It should take six hours to remove the water, but salvagers need three days of good weather to get the shipwreck in a holding position before deciding what to do next. The decision to refloat the vessel was taken by Robin Middleton, the secretary of state's representative in maritime salvage and intervention, after reviewing the condition of the ship and the prevailing weather conditions in Lyme Bay.

Source: Reuters

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