Third round of explosives will be needed to break ship up

Despite a second round of explosives being triggered on the MSC Napoli yesterday, Wednesday 18 July, the vessel remains intact, though an MCA spokesman reported it was ‘hanging on a thread’.

Tugs positioned at the bow and stern are continuing to try and pull the container ship apart.

MCA spokesman Paul Coley reported that all the explosives had gone off successfully, but that more charges would probably be used tomorrow Friday to finally break the vessel in two. Once the hull is separated the plan is to tow the front section into deeper water and anchor it there. Divers will assess its structure and sites will be identified where it could be towed for recycling in mainland Europe.

The stern section will be left where it is and will be cut up and disposed of. The operation is expected to take a month.

The 1,000m exclusion zone around the ship remains in place and if the decision is taken to trigger more explosives on Friday, footpaths will be closed again for the public’s safety.