62,000 tonne container ship off the rocks six months after grounding

MSC Napoli was successfully refloated on Monday 9 July.The 62,000 tonne container ship was beached on a sandbank off the Devon coast when her hull threatened to collapse after a heavy January storm.

The incident created chaos locally, as stranded containers were looted. Once the situation calmed down, the real salvage operation could begin; 2,000 containers were lifted off the deck and the fuel oil from its bunkers cleared before the final operation to move the ship.

The final operation before the Napoli could float free off the sandbank was to pump 58,000 tonnes of seawater from her hull. She was then towed into deeper water by a giant tug.

Divers will now assess the state of the ship’s hull before it is decided whether to tow her to port for repairs, break her up and remove her in pieces, or take her into deeper water and sink her.

Mike Clark, of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency(MCGA), said there were several options for dealing with the ship, and the weather would be ‘a driving factor’ in deciding her fate. The MCGA said the cost of the salvage operation was likely to come to £50 million, and the bill would be met by insurers for the ship’s owners, Mediterranean Shipping Company