Explosive charges used to split hull in two

Explosive charges were used in an attempt to break up stricken cargo ship MSC Napoli yesterday afternoon, Tuesday 17 July. The ship has been stranded off Branscombe, East Devon since January. She was refloated last week, but a diving survey quickly revealed that the hull was more damaged than originally thought, and she was beached again last Thursday 12 July. It is hoped that by breaking the ship up in two parts, the front hull section will be able to be towed away, leaving just the stern section to remove from the beach.

The deck plates were separated on the ship in the explosions yesterday, and tugs tried to pull the cargo ship, but without success.

A further detonation will now be carried out at 1500hrs today to cut the vessel’s longitudinal joists. Paul Coley of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said:’We are at a fairly crucial stage. There will be more explosives and it is more likely to separate today.’

Navigational warning have been issued in the local area and a 1000m exclusion zone has been placed around the vessel. Contractors appointed by the vessel’s owners have been dealing with oil which has been reported as coming ashore on beaches along the World Heritage Jurassic coast

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