On Saturday I made a brief entry about the cargo ship Napoli being beached between Sidmouth and Branscombe in East Devon. I finished by remarking "I expect there will be some sightseers on that bit of coast in the next few days". Well talk about an understatement! Branscombe has been overrun by people causing a dilemma for the police because the village is difficult enough to access at the best of times. So there have been conflicting reports of no entry at all to Branscombe (perhaps to deter sightseers) and a one way system in operation down the narrow lines (so residents can get about).
What has given an added impetus to the numbers though is the fact that the ship is listing badly resulting in some 200 containers (so far) to leave the deck with many washed up on the beach. That of course can mean rich pickings for anyone who illegally makes off with any goods from these containers. Ace photographer Richard Austin has taken a superb picture for today's Western Morning News of Napoli listing badly with containers stacked up on her deck. I think that Richard lives at Lyme Regis so this assignment was pretty well on his doorstep.
So far as the present weather is concerned our two counties are under a northerly airflow so that the ship is to some extent in the shelter of the south facing cliffs. There has been some escape of engine oil but in pollution terms nothing too serious at the moment. Of course the location is right in the heart of the 'Jurassic Coast' World Heritage Site and the pictures I've seen show an incredible amount of containers and other debris on the beach. It's not going to be a two minute job to clear up. Do the salvage company or maybe the ship's insurers bear the cost of the clear up operation? Someone will have to.