Monday, January 22, 2007

The Napoli

We are following the story of the storm-damaged freighter with interest as the Branscombe area is a part of our back yard, so to speak. It is hard to imagine exactly what is going on from newspaper reports, particularly as the ship is supposed to have been "beached" but appears to be some way from the shore in various photos that have been released.

It is also disturbing that various toxic chemicals are being ignored in favor of removing the fuel oil in the ship's bunkers. While the fuel oil is indeed a threat, it should be remembered that oil is basically a natural substance that will eventually break up and dissipate of its own accord. Toxic chemicals and other materials may have a far longer effect on this World Heritage site. I am reminded of the medical waste that used to wash up on New Jersey shores when offshore dumping was allowed. Used needles have a much longer life than fuel oil in such an environment.

We next expect to be in the area at Easter and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, has happened to the coastline we love. Expect more comments then.