Napoli's salvage comes to abrupt halt

PUBLISHED: 14:58 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 17 June 2010

THE salvage operation of the MSC Napoli has come to an abrupt halt after it was decided to suspend the operation over winter. The decision was announced on Tuesday by the Secretary of State s representative, Hugh Shaw, following talks with the environment

THE salvage operation of the MSC Napoli has come to an abrupt halt after it was decided to suspend the operation over winter.

The decision was announced on Tuesday by the Secretary of State's representative, Hugh Shaw, following talks with the environment group and the Napoli's salvors.

Due to the increasing dangers of the operation in the hazardous winter months it was agreed that all work should be suspended until at least spring 2009.

Hugh Shaw said: "The decision to suspend salvage operations for the MSC Napoli was necessary to lessen the risks that the onset of harsher autumnal weather would have presented to the safety of the salvors involved, and the local environment."

The decision comes after the wreck team was forced to head back to Torbay for shelter a couple of weeks ago because of high winds and heavy rain.

Mr Shaw added: "The conditions under which salvors are operating are now becoming increasingly treacherous.

"During the initial incident no lives were lost and my aim is to lessen the risks to anyone involved in the operation during this final phase."

Much of the Napoli has already been removed as reported in the Herald last week but the temporary halt to proceedings will put the end-date of the operation back by a considerable amount.

The remaining piece of the ship, purposefully beached in Branscombe in January 2007, is proving difficult to dismantle because of its heavy construction.

It is also estimated that 3000 tonnes of silt and clay are trapped inside the ship, adding significant weight to the structure.

Another problem Mr Shaw pointed out was the vessel's location and its exposure to the elements, which has not helped salvage activities."

A Temporary Exclusion Zone of 500 metres will remain in place whilst the operation is suspended in the winter months.

Prior to the suspension of the salvaging, navigational marks will also be deployed around the wreck and counter pollution measures will stay in place.


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