Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 17:46 UK

Sea bed clay halts Napoli salvage

Giant barges with chains
Giant chains and hoists are being used to lift the stern

The salvage operation to remove the final section of the wrecked container ship MSC Napoli has been delayed.

Salvors working to raise the remains of the stern from the sea bed off the Devon coast said the operation could take at least another week.

They said the wreckage of the stricken ship had become stuck in clay.

The Napoli was deliberately grounded in January 2007 after her hull was damaged in a storm when she was was en-route from Antwerp to South Africa.

Engine scrapped

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

Two barges with massive chains and hoists are attempting to bring the remainder of the stern, including the ship's 1,400-tonne engine to the surface so it can be scrapped.

It is hoped work will be completed by August.

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

Thousands of scavengers flocked to Devon when about 50 of the stricken ship's 2,400 containers washed ashore at Branscombe beach.

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Last section of Napoli salvaged
03 Jun 09 |  Devon
Final Napoli salvage due to start
26 May 09 |  Devon
MSC Napoli's salvage is suspended
16 Sep 08 |  Devon
Napoli engine to be blasted apart
29 Jul 08 |  Devon
Napoli towed away for recycling
07 Aug 07 |  Devon


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