Sunday, 25 February 2007

MSC Napoli - Update

It sounds as if the remaining containers above deck might be removed during the course of this coming week. This then leaves a further 1600 down in the hold to be dealt with. Fred Caygill from The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said that it is undecided at the moment whether to remove these other containers with the ship in its present position. Apparently the below decks containers are submerged and will have to be emptied of water before lifting on to the barge. There's even a suggestion that the ship be cut up in situ. I really hope that some naval architect types can have a good look at Napoli - we ought to be informed if they can ascertain whether there were any defects in the earlier repairs.

Some items believed to have been lost from the Napoli have turned up as far east as the Isle of Wight and also on the Bournemouth beaches. Fortunately none of them are believed to be hazardous.

Although the Napoli story has faded from the national media businesses in Branscombe continue to feel the effects. Such was the spotlight on the village that folk in the tourism trade are suffering with cancelled bookings and smaller visitor numbers the order of the day. Tourism in this country seems to operate on a knife edge and I admire those involved in it for their tenacity and hard work. I do feel sorry for them in this sort of situation, a problem not of their making. The Masons Arms in Branscombe is quite upmarket I think with a staff of 42 and some of these will be quite concerned about their jobs. Although there is more work to be done down at the beach the village itself is open for business and the coast path is operational. It is a real problem getting the message over to tourists that things are nowhere near as bad now as when the media circus parachuted in.

It is ironic that during the days following the beaching nearby Sidmouth was enjoying a surge in numbers as spectators came to the resort. So there have been winners and losers I suppose.

1 comment:

brian in the tamar valley said...

Two comments to add: first I read that the last of the above decks containers was lifted off last Sunday evening. Secondly East Devon MP Hugo Swire wants the government to support an appeal for £30,000 to help tourism and other business in the area.