Well it was just after midday today and it happened - the third set of explosive charges were set off on the Napoli and they were enough to separate the longer bow section of the ship from the stern with its large accommodation block. Dramatic video footage is on the Radio Devon website.
For some time now the intention has been to move the towable front end to some suitable port for recycling and to cut up the stern section where it is, this latter operation taking about a month. There is now a suggestion that the parts of the dismembered rear section could be placed in/on the bow section and the whole lot towed away in one go! Now that's an interesting option. It should be remembered that to a certain extent the authorities are in uncharted territory as to how to dispose of this particular wreck.
Providing any further loss of oil can be controlled I think that the continuing operations on the MSC Napoli will be a tourist attraction certainly for day trippers. Yes the oil on the beach and oiling of any seabirds is cause for concern but I wonder if long term more visitors will come to Branscombe, since the village has been so constantly in the news.
Outsiders could be under the impression that Branscombe itself directly overlooks the Napoli but in reality much of the village is slightly inland and I think you would have to walk right to the coast to witness what's going on.
I've no doubt that the Devon County Council investigation into all aspects of the Napoli saga will be well reported in the local media and I've also no doubt that I shall follow this with the greatest of interest!