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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
MSC Napoli will be cut into bits
Picture courtesy of Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Industrial cutting shears are used to dismantle the stern
Plans to cut up the remains of the MSC Napoli have been approved in a move that means the ship will still be off the Devon coast next Spring.

Salvors believe the cargo vessel is too heavy to be lifted in tact, so cutting equipment is to be brought in to break her up further.

A barge will then be used to take her away for recycling and scrap.

But local businesses have voiced their anger and fear that more oil pollution could put off visitors.

Split in two

Simon Bartlett, who runs a boat hire firm, said: "Oil on the beaches can't be good for the tourist industry."

The MSC Napoli was grounded off the coast of Branscombe after being damaged in storms in January.

The ship was split in two in a series of explosions and the bow towed to the Harland and Wolff shipyard, in Belfast, to be demolished and recycled.

Salvors have said the beached stern was due to be taken away in one piece in November.

Robin Middleton, the Secretary of State's representative for Maritime Salvage, said: "Cutting vessels up isn't new, cutting vessels up with a device this sheer size is novel and new and it's hoped in the industry if this is successful this will become the norm."

All of the crew were rescued from the ship in January after it was damaged in storms while sailing from Antwerp to South Africa.

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