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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Scavengers told to keep BMW finds
BMW bike salvaged
Insurers have written off the BMW items washed ashore
People who scavenged from the MSC Napoli wreck on the east Devon coast have been told they can keep any BMW goods they took from the beach.

The cargo ship was carrying almost 2,400 containers when it was grounded off Branscombe Beach in January.

The Receiver of Wreck confirmed BMW had issued a statement that legitimate finds reported to the Receiver could now be kept.

Seventeen motorcycles and thousands of spare parts were taken from the beach.

Written off

A spokeswoman from the Receiver of Wreck said salvors who had taken BMW goods could now legally keep them as long as they had filed forms declaring their salvage to the Receiver within 28 days of finding them.

Anyone who had not declared the BMW goods, which also included gearboxes and windscreens, was still committing an offence.

We would certainly recommend that any parts are not used
Angela Stangroom, BMW spokesperson

The Receiver is now writing to the salvors who reported goods, telling them they can keep the parts.

Thirteen of the motorcycles, which cost about 12,000 in a dealership, have been reported by salvors and two were seized by police. Two have not been traced.

The Receiver of Wreck said that BMW's insurers had written off the loss because the parts were of no use to them and had been taken by people from a wide area of the UK.

BMW spokeswoman Angela Stangroom said: "We would certainly recommend that any parts are not used.

"They are almost certainly unsafe because of water ingress and we are asking everyone who has parts to return them to us so they can be destroyed."

The MSC Napoli was carrying 70 BMW containers, of which an unknown number were washed ashore.

Ms Stangroom declined to confirm reports that the total value of BMW goods washed up was about 1m.

She said the total value of BMW goods on the ship was "tens of millions of pounds".

A decision has not yet been made on the recovery of the rest of the items.


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