MS Napoli abandoned in English Channel 26 crew in danger


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Mar 28, 2002
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The freighter MS Napoli has been abandoned by it's crew of 26 and have taken to a lifeboat. A rescue operation is currently underway to rescue the men, being tossed around in 90mph winds off Lizard, Cornwall, in the English Channel.

Already one person is dead in these storms that are currently battering Britain. Hopefully the count won't jump with this incident.
 
Mar 28, 2002
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There are no reported casualties at sea as yet but at lease nine have died on land and hundreds of thousands are without power. Transport has been seriously affected with all Channel ferry services out of Dover cancelled.
 

Paul Rogers

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Jun 1, 2000
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Hi Boz. I went up to Oxford and back this morning; a four-hour round trip with a meeting in the middle. It was a tad breezy on the roads, I grant you, but didn't seem terribly unusual at the time. It's surprising to see the extent of the damage. How've you fared Oop North (i.e. past Watford)?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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More than a tad breezy over here close to the North Sea coast earlier today, Paul. Trees and fences uprooted, some roofs off, and anything not nailed down in flight. Some roads closed by fallen trees or overturned vehicles. Power lines down. Orwell bridge closed. Gusts up to 100mph.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>A hole in the side doesn't appear without a reason.<<

It'll be interesting to see what that reason is. Were they anywhere near any rocks or shoals when this happened? That they managed to get away in a lifeboat in those seas is nothing short of incredible!
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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The crew of MSC Napoli had rather good, fully enclosed lifeboats. They could have survived a rollover. That's more than I can say for many lifeboats I've seen, including those on QE2.

As far as I know, there's no question of her hitting anything, though you never know if a stray container is about.
 
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Morning Paul. I believe we are at the highest point facing south and east and as such there is nothing higher east until you hit the Urals. "It was BEDLAM!" as Catherine Tate would say. I can see fence panels down and stuff in my garden that doesn't belong to me and locally there were trees down eveywhere. My biggest fear is that my chimney will collapse on me just as I step out of the shower and how embarrassing would that be???
 
Dec 29, 2006
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It seems that the distressed vessel has been taken in tow by another ship, suggesting that the damage to her hull was not mortal. Does this suggest that the crew abandoned ship too quickly, putting other vessels at risk by leaving the Napoli to drift about in the sea lanes? I would image that the crew were largely from the third world, and wonders what kind of training they would have received in relation to emergencies of this kind.
 
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Linda Sherlock

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I note the BBC report says the crew abandoned ship after cracks appeared in the engine room and these caused the hole in the side of the vessel. It sounds disturbing that a ship only sixteen years old could have such serious structural faults. Shouldn't a ship be much 'older' before such stresses and strains begin to show?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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The ship may be British registered, but I suspect that it is not British owned or British-crewed. An all-British crew would be unlikely to abandon a vessel so quickly when there was no obvious danger.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Shouldn't a ship be much 'older' before such stresses and strains begin to show?<<

It should, but it doesn't always work out that way. Some of the sisters of the ill fated Derbyshire had problems with stress fractures. One of them at least had some of her sections misaligned when the modules were welded together. The difference was by fractions of an inch, but that's all it takes.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Do I hear the sound of slavering lawyers?<<

Of course you do. Even in the worst weather, ships don't *just* develop two long gashes without an underlying cause. The only question now is who's pocket is going to be picked to pay for the mess.

What exactly is known about the ship herself in terms of who built her and who the real owners are?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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The Napoli is now aground off Branscombe in South Devon, some of the 2,400 containers aboard having already been washed ashore, while sea birds have already succumbed to the leaking oil. It appears that this vessel has been involved in earlier incidents and accidents - presumably under different names and ownerships.
 
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