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Pics of ship breaking / cranes


This is where the Napoli foundered, Branscombe in Devon. You can just see part of it in the distance. All along the beaches are plastic bits from the BMW cars it was carrying.

Pity that Harland & Wolff, builders of the Titanic, are now reduced to scrapping other makers' wrecks.
So this was the Beemer ship that sank

Somehow I thought it was further out to sea from the coastline from what I had read and viewed. I understood it was mostly underwater, but so shallow that it was a hazard to navigation. I saw a series of photos that demonstrated the salvage team sawing the ship into three section with two large barges?? with winches and a long cable that they sawed back and forth. Apparently it made short work of cutting the ship into large chunks that could then be managed and hoisted ashore.
Harland's now do amongst other things, ship and oil rig repairs. The Napoli contract is jobs for Belfast, bring them on.

The Napoli remains lay off Whitehead in Belfast lough for several days prior to being towed to Harland's. Several on board pumps kept her afloat. I've photo's somewhere, she was close and big.

Attended an auction at the yard several years ago and purchased a harrison lathe. All of the larger machines went for scrap, 12" min. pipe benders, forming machines as large as a two storey house etc. No chance of saving any of that stuff - where do you put it. Missed a pillar drill that was confirmed to have been used to build the Titanic (£60 $120 approx), sure it's worth a lot more now.

Appartments and other "desirable" housing is now being built in its place.

Check out their two cranes, Samson & Goliath, 15 miles from home and still visible.

Perhaps this was not the ship full of BMW's that sank?

From reading the linked articles in the BBC, it appears this was a container ship that was beached. The ship I was thinking about was full of BMW's and actually was underwater in the channel, albeit in shallow water.

Question solved, here is the link to the salvage site of the "Tricolor".


This ship sank on Dec 15, 2002 after colliding with two other ships in fog. It was lying in water only 82 feet deep and at low tide could easily be seen from above. It contained about 2,812 BMW, Volvo and other vehicles. The wreck was at the entrance to the Dover Straits.

I think this ship was cut into scrap in Holland, but didn't re-read the salvage article, but it is quite facinating.
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Yes,The Guardian also had a great photo set of the beach, and the crowds converging to haul away whatever they could.

I Think I read just a few weeks ago that large amounts of cocaine have been washing up the same stretch of coast... in that artcle they mention that there are still open investigations into 'thefts' of numerous motocycles from the shore.

I remember seeing TV coverage of a ship aground in Britain not too long ago, the containers had come ashore and there were hordes of "salvagers" on the beaches helping themselves to all sorts of stuff. I remember seeing a tractor taking away a BMW motorcycle. The insurance people (from memory) seemed to be saying it was theft, and it certainly looked like theft. Imagine if it was your motorcycle that someone was pushing away.
There was a story from the Scilly isles of several containers washing ashore, and the island's one policeman directing traffic on the single track lane.

It's a tough one, but from what I can make out, unless it's treasure trove, if it's in the surf, it's free to take, whether it's coal, or BMWs

Now if someone was deliberately wrecking...
Salvage on beach

I understand that by very old custom, salvage from shipwrecks is anyones property, but we don't live in those times. Shipwrecks were so common back in sailing days and certain coasts were so dangerous, that some communities lived on salvage and on saving the crew and passengers of foundering ships.

The installation of lighthouses and warning beacons helped the situation, as did more modern and robust ship building, but the sea will still win the battle on occasion.

I have to wonder why any modern country does not pass laws controlling these situations and why authorities don't step in to keep order? They knew the ship was going ashore, so why did the insurance carrier not hire crews to pick up the salvage? Nothing like a group of very large men hired to pick up valuable cargo to keep things in order.

Mini rant over.:D
its not all free and there are laws you have to abide with
A quick wikipedia search-

The Receiver of Wreck - Introduction
The Receiver of Wreck is an official of the British government whose main task is to process incoming reports of wreck in order to:

Give the legitimate owner the opportunity to retrieve their property
Ensure that law-abiding finders of wreck receive an appropriate reward
This involves researching ownership, liaising with the finder and the owner, and other interested parties such as archaeologists and museums.

Under British law, he/she is also to be notified on the disposal of whale carcasses impeding shipping lanes in British waters.

Operating on behalf of the Department of Transport the Receiver of Wreck is located within the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Until 1993 the job was carried out by numerous coastal customs officials. Nowadays the Receiver is based in Southampton and is helped by local outposts of HM Coastguard.

The current Receiver of Wreck is Sophia Exelby (Contact her on 02380 329474 or email [email protected])

What is wreck?
According to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, wreck is:

Flotsam - Flotsam are goods lost from a ship which has sunk or otherwise perished which are recoverable because they have floated.
Jetsam - Jetsam are goods cast overboard in order to lighten a vessel which is in danger of sinking, even if they ultimately perish.
Derelict - Derelict is property which has been abandoned and deserted at sea by those who were in charge without any hope of recovering it. This includes vessels and cargo.
Lagan - Lagan (or ligan) are goods cast overboard from a ship, which afterwards perish, buoyed so that they can be recovered later.

The requirements of UK law
It is a legal requirement that all recovered wreck landed in the United Kingdom is reported to the Receiver of Wreck, whether recovered from within or outside UK waters and even if the finder is the owner. The Receiver of Wreck will investigate ownership. The owner has one year in which to come forward and prove title to the property. During this period it is common for the finder to hold the wreck on behalf of the Receiver of Wreck while investigations are carried out.

Wreck which remains unclaimed after a year becomes the property of the Crown and the Receiver of Wreck is required to dispose of it. Often the finder is allowed to keep items of unclaimed wreck in lieu of a salvage award.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

also if you are found with a shed of BMW booty, you may also be charged with stealing by finding

now for nautical nonsense and marine mayhem ,
go to www.cargolaw.com

last time i flew out of Belfast, i had a while staring at the yellow H and W cranes across the runway , and wondered how long it would be before they were to be sent off to India or such, at least it looks like there is still something going on there
Thank you Thistle

I now knaow more about marine salvage that I did before and that is about a thousand fold increase in knowledge on my part.

I posted the link to the salvage site on the "tricolor" and there are a number of photos of fairly large cranes lifting the sunken ship sections onto barges. One of them stayed attached to one section, as it was unstable and apparently they were afraid it would roll off the barge and back into the abyss whence it came.
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Back in the good old days (1620-??) certain parts of Cape Cod were famous for "mooncussers" who built false signal fires on shore to lure ships onto the shoals, for the purpose of salvaging what they could. By the mid-19th century these shipwrecks were probably the only source of firewood on the more remote parts of this peninsula, the native hardwood forests having been completely cut down by about 1820. I suspect the transition to iron-hulled ships had as much to do with the fading of the practice as law enforcement efforts.

The waters off Cape Cod are particularly well-suited to this form of mayhem as they are somewhat awkward to navigate even with contemporary navaids. In the years 1990-1995 three modern cruise ships ran aground within a few miles of each other: the Bermuda Star, the Royal majesty, and the QE II. Two oil barges have run aground here in recent history, 1993 and 2003.

I have travelled the same 2-mile route daily for 5 years now in my little work skiff. I ran aground yesterday. Somebody keeps moving those dang sandbars :angry:
Sea Farmer,

When the QE2 ran aground, appart from the obvious crew error, i think they attributed it to squat. In that the sea dips around the ship whilst its making way.

Sea Farmer,

When the QE2 ran aground, appart from the obvious crew error, i think they attributed it to squat. In that the sea dips around the ship whilst its making way.


Yes, I agree. Of course, if the rocks had been charted, the ship might have gone slower, thus reducing the amount of squat, which is a function of speed for a ship with a displacement hull.

It remains astonishing to me that in an area as heavily-travelled as the waters off Cape Cod, so many bars and rocks are uncharted. Seems the charts are updated less frequently than in the past. Makes life fun for us local boaters :eek:
the police have a dim view of anyone taking anything off the beach, it seems the rules of salvage dont apply and the goods still belong to the owner untill insurance company pays up then they belong to the insurer, which apparently includes oil spills BMW's timber and just about anything else!
i was always under the impression that if you found it washed up on the beach you could keep it, its not the case, shame.
anyway i used to live near a shipbreakers yard that used to chop up just about anything, my wifes father worked as a burner there, regular lead poisoning of the plate was common with all the burners, not sure if it was the paint or the steel or what but the burners were always ill/shaking/shouting generaly going bonkers if the asbestos didnt get them first
veiws out the window!
not my photos but ships my father in law helped cut up among many more