MSC Napoli update Published: 22 January, 2007
FOLLOWING the beaching of MSC Napoli last Thursday, a sheen of oil has been sighted coming from the vessel, which is suspected to come from waste oils in the flooded engine spaces.
This sheen has spread to about 8km which is breaking up and dissipating. There is an increasing confidence that no major tanks have been breached.
Some oil ashore was been reported in the Branscombe and Sidmouth areas, however investigations have not managed to find any evidence of oil on any beach. The RSPB have also reported to the MCA that some oiled birds have been recovered.
63 of the “lost” containers have been identified and their positions have been plotted. 49 have been identified by their reference number – so that their contents are now known. The contents and stowage positions of 98% of the cargo manifest has now also been identified.
The ‘MSC Napoli’ remains in stable condition and there has been no fundamental change to the structure. The vessel continues to have a list of 25 degrees during high water reducing to 18 degrees during low water.
The salvage team have managed to further secure the vessel by deploying a starboard ground anchor and have accessed the number 6 port tank. It is now believed that the oil which has spilled from the casualty so far has come from small tanks within the flooded engine room space and not from the ship’s bunker tanks of heavy fuel oil.
The ship’s owners have appointed a private security company to guard the beached containers. The owners have also appointed a contractor to corral and remove those spilled containers, and that contractor will mobilise to site later today and recovery will begin on Tuesday.
Salvage equipment has been now been transferred onto the vessel so that pumping arrangements can be configured at first light this morning.
During the day the salvors will be assessing the situation regarding the vessel and planning for the recovery of the oils remaining onboard.
Over flights will also continue by MCA surveillance aircraft,
The River Axe and the River Brid have protection booms have been deployed and additional protective equipment is being deployed to the likely affected sites.
Robin Middleton, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, who is leading the MCAs response team said that the decision to tow the vessel, which was drifting in the middle of the English Channel, to the English coastline and not the French side was taken to avoid deeper water and a greater threat.
He said that had the vessel sunk in deep water it would have been “a greater threat to the environment”.
The MCA are also warning members of the public to stay away from any containers they see and that it is vital to report any sightings to Portland Coastguard on 01305 760439.
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