The barge Bigfoot, having made a very good start in removing over 300 containers from the MSC Napoli, removed itself to Portland a few days ago because of the deteriorating weather conditions. As was rightly pointed out the safety of those carrying out the salvage comes first.
For a take on the condition of the ship before she was abandoned it is worth reading Shaun's Bicester info blog here, the entries on 23 January, 29 January and 7 February being the ones relevant to this story. I have found that the 'Sidmouth Herald' has a lot of information about the crew rescue from the Napoli and the subsequent events including the scavenging and what villagers at Branscombe had to put up with. Also some excellent picture galleries showing much of the debris and some of the containers littering Branscombe beach. Well worth a look here. They seem to suggest that there were no problems at all about Napoli's seaworthiness. Well I'm not sure about that, I tend to go along with Shaun's concerns on this one. At least after the containers have been unloaded it should be possible to make a thorough inspection of the ship (if she hasn't broken up) and look for clues as to why the calamity happened. Another good reason for Napoli not to have been allowed to sink in mid channel!
Going back to the salvage operations one thing that fascinates me is the reason that people take up certain occupations. When young people are considering their future careers one can understand them thinking about becoming doctors, teachers, builders, civil servants and many other occupations. But working in the salvage industry? Not many considering that I would think. Luckily there seem to be enough people to cover all the different jobs that require doing even if we depend on foreign labour for our vegetable and flower harvests. There must be very many dangerous jobs such as working on the wet, oily, slippery Napoli that we never think about. So next time I have a drink perhaps I should raise a glass to those at the sharp end resolving the problem of MSC Napoli.