Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Napoli wreck still a threat

Oil from the wreck of the MSC Napoli, off the coast of Devon, is still affecting seabirds. Sixteen oiled birds have been found in the last few days and there have been reports of more.

The vessel is being broken up by the Maritime Coastguard Agency after attempts to refloat the wreck were abandoned. The whole process could take up to a year and there will be a risk of residual oil leaking out.

Both oil and birds have been found washed up on Branscombe Beach, near Sidmouth, in Devon where the wreck has been an offshore feature since the ship beached there in January.

Sian Rees, a maritime conservation officer with the Devon Wildlife Trust, said: "We were aware that if the ship broke up there was a certain amount of oil in the hold and in the pipes which would be released. These birds have been the unfortunate victims of this incident."

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