I'm very pleased to report that the huge accommodation block on the stern section of the MSC Napoli has now been completely removed. This has taken little more than a week which is progress indeed.
That's the good news. A low pressure area, presently centred over our region, brought a southerly gale in on its eastern flank so that the Napoli is now listing at about 30 degrees. Up until this moment the weather has been incredibly kind to those working on the wreck but sooner or later some poor weather had to make its presence felt. With the listing has come the movement of small pieces of debris ashore in the Branscombe area.
We are told that the final removal of the stern section should be completed by the end of April 2008. I think that the experts have taken the most extreme pessimistic view of the completion time; I appreciate that the winter weather could play a huge role in the progress made by the salvage company and that a substantial weather window might be necessary when the stern section is eventually lifted onto a barge. However I would be very surprised if it took that long to finish the job.
Expect a lot of media attention on the anniversary of the grounding of the Napoli next January.