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Flotsam plundered on the beach

JAN. 24 — Locals carted off items such as motorcycles, oil paintings and car parts after containers washed ashore in southwest England this week from a grounded cargo ship.

The British-owned 62,000-ton cargo ship, Napoli, ran aground about a mile off BranscombeBeach, in South Devon, England, after it was damaged in a storm last Thursday, an Associated Press news report states. The 26-person crew was rescued unharmed by Royal Navy helicopters in 40-foot seas and 60-knot winds.

As oil leaked from the holed ship, about 40 of its 2,400 containers fell overboard and drifted ashore, the report states. Hundreds of people rushed to the beach and carted off many of the undamaged items. Since then a number of the items have appeared for sale on the online auction site, e-Bay, according to reports.

The British Coast Guard warned people to stay away from the containers and that taking the items is against the law. “It’s not finders, keepers,” a senior police officer says in a New York Times news report.

The ships’ owners have reportedly appointed a private security company to guard the remaining beached containers and cargo, the British Coast Guard says.

— Jason Fell