Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 16:42 UK

Last section of Napoli salvaged

Giant barges with chains
Salvors will cut and lift as the stern is slowly brought to the surface

A salvage operation to raise the final section of a wrecked container ship off the Devon coast has begun.

The 62,000-tonne MSC Napoli was deliberately grounded in January 2007 after its hull was damaged in a storm.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said two barges have performed a trial lift which will bring the remainder of the stern from the sea bed.

It is hoped work will be completed by August, when the stern, including the 1,4000-tonne engine, will be scrapped.

Twelve giant chains and 24 hoists will be used to slowly lift the stern, which should break the surface of the water by the weekend.

Anti-wrinkle cream

The stern will be cut into sections as it is lifted above the water.

Most of the vessel, which was broken up using explosive charges, has already been salvaged.

An exclusion area will remain around the wreck until the £50m salvage is completely finished.

The operation is being carried out by newly appointed salvage company Global Response Maritime.

Branscombe, January 2007
People flocked to Branscombe when containers washed ashore

The Napoli was en-route from Antwerp to South Africa, with 2,400 containers on board, when its hull was cracked during a storm off the Lizard. Its crew had to be airlifted to safety by Royal Navy helicopters.

It was being taken to Portland in Dorset, when the decision was taken to deliberately ground the vessel to try to prevent pollution damage to the world heritage Jurassic coast.

Thousands of scavengers flocked to Branscombe beach when about 50 containers from the stricken Napoli washed ashore.

BMW motorbikes, pet food, anti-wrinkle cream, wine barrels and nappies were among the goods taken from the beach.

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