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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Napoli beach reopened to public
Cleaned stretch of Branscombe Beach
The National Trust said it was a relief to have the beach open
A Devon beach which was the scene of scavenging after cargo washed ashore from a beached ship has been reopened.

Branscombe Mouth beach was closed after it was littered with debris and cargo from the MSC Napoli in January.

It has been reopened to the public after clearance work was completed by contractors. A National Trust spokesman said it was a welcome relief.

"People have been very understanding of the fact that there has been a major incident," added the spokesman.

The damaged ship was grounded a mile off Lyme Bay, near Sidmouth, while being towed to Portland, Dorset.

Beachcombers on Branscombe Beach
Hundreds of beachcombers descended on the area

Her hull was damaged in a Channel storm - during which her 26 crew was rescued - and she was beached over fears by salvers that she would sink.

Hundreds of beachcombers flocked to the area after containers from the 62,000-tonne vessel started washing ashore.

People took items ranging from BMW motorcycles to disposable nappies before the beach was closed to enable a major clean-up to begin.

A total of 114 containers were washed overboard. There are another 1,353 to be removed from the ship.


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