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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 13:42 GMT
Needles wash up at Napoli beach
People pushing a bike from the beach
People reported taking 1,300 items from Branscombe Beach
Hypodermic needles have washed up on the Devon beach where containers from the stricken MSC Napoli also landed.

Hundreds of the unused needles washed up on Branscombe Beach, where they are being cleared away by contractors.

A spokesman for the National Trust, which owns the beach, said needles were in bags but some had broken open.

Last month salvagers reported taking 1,300 items that had washed up on the beach after the vessel was grounded in Lyme Bay on 20 January.

Capped needles

The Napoli was deliberately beached amid fears she could sink during a tow to Portland, having suffered hull damage in a Channel storm during which her 26 crew were rescued.

She was carrying more than 2,000 containers, of which 110 went overboard and 58 were washed ashore.

A total of 853 containers have now been removed from the vessel's decks and work is under way to remove 1,353 others from the holds.

Multipacks of shampoo bottles washed up on Devon shores
Items washed up from Torbay in south Devon to the Isle of Wight

Motorbikes, wine barrels, face cream and nappies were among the items turning up at Branscombe.

The National Trust spokesman said the Napoli's cargo manifest said pharmaceutical products were being carried, but the document gave no more detail.

The capped needles are being cleared up by the contractors, who continue to take away skiploads of debris that is washing onto the beach each day.

The trust spokesman said: "We do not know how many more needles may come ashore on the tide."

Electro-magnets were also being used to find pieces of metal from containers which have been buried in the beach.

The trust said at some stage volunteers would be asked to come and help clear up smaller items of debris from the shore.

The beach is to remain closed for cleaning for several weeks and is expected to be re-opened fully to the public at Easter.

Debris from the stricken vessel has been washed up from Torbay in south Devon to the Isle of Wight.


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