VIDEO: Permanent memorial to the MSC Napoli unveiled at Branscombe

PUBLISHED: 17:47 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:51 17 June 2010

THE owners of the MSC Napoli have handed over a permanent memorial to the people of Branscombe to remember the ship's grounding.

THE owners of the MSC Napoli have handed over a permanent memorial to the people of Branscombe to remember the ship's grounding.

The 13-and-a-half tonne starboard anchor was brought in from Rotterdam to be displayed on the edge of the beach.

In a speech by Mark Rawson, of Zodiac Maritime Agencies, on behalf of the ship owners, Metvale Ltd, he apologised to the people of Branscombe.

He said: "I am very sorry that the problems beset us were brought to your coastline and your communities.

"This is not what we wanted; it's not how we run our business and it is not something we would ever wish to happen again.

"Zodiac Maritime Agencies has, with the full support of the owners, carried out some very detailed technical reviews and analysis of this casualty to ensure that our other container ships are as safe as they can be.

"We have also been able to take part in exchanges of this technical information with other interested organisations globally."

He also described some of the events of the day when the decision was made to beach the ship on the East Devon coastline.

He said: "I was given very clear instructions from the owners. We were instructed to do whatever was required and commit whatever resources were needed to prevent more damage, and then to restore this beautiful coastline and clean these beaches so far as we reasonably could."

He said representatives had been on site since that day and he also thanked the East Devon community for its tolerance and kindness to all the contractors involved.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "We have never had to deal with type of event and hope we never have to again but we are pleased with the way the operation has gone."

Speaking on behalf of the village, Branscombe Parish Council chairman John Bass, thanked the owners for their gift, the district council for providing a base for it to be kept on and the Sellick family for the land.

He also said he hoped lessons had been learned by the different agencies, as a result of the incident.

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