My more recent entries on the Napoli had suggested that the remainder of the stern of the ship, still languishing off the Jurassic Coast near Branscombe, would have gone before the start of this summer. As you can see from the press release here issued yesterday by Fred Caygill of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency this is not now going to happen. I had thought in my ignorance that the stern section might have been lifted in one go as the salvors had entertained the possibility of doing that before the large accommodation block had been removed. Maybe the list of 40 degrees has put paid to any such notion. Whatever it appears that the MSC Napoli will still be present through the summer as they use controlled explosions to assist in the removal of the heavy components still to be removed from the stern section.
Now this final plan has come as something of a surprise and disappointment to me - I had thought that the stern section would have definitely gone before the main summer period but as I said I think the way it has heeled over must be a massive constraining factor in the removal process.
So what about the knock on effects resulting from this latest press-release? Firstly I think that the County Council had intended to get the Public Enquiry's hearings underway this summer but I can't imagine that this will happen now as surely they will want the removal to be completed first. Then there is the little matter of the effect on local tourism; I'm upbeat on this I have to say. We are told that the local beaches at least are monitored every day for anything coming ashore from Napoli so that the coast in that immediate vicinity should be kept in a pristine condition. I could be wrong but think that the ship's owners have this responsibility which should therefore reduce the cost on the public purse. The other point is that the presence of the stern section would I suggest be more of a draw for tourists rather than being a negative.
The Napoli saga has plenty of life in it yet!