MSC Napoli: 10 years on from one of the most expensive shipwrecks in history

It's ten years since the crew of the MSC Napoli were rescue off the coast of Cornwall.

Two days later the ship was beached deliberately in Lyme Bay. It prompted unforgettable scenes of beachcombing as a hundred containers and their contents washed ashore.

The bill to insurers was more than a £120 million.

In a special two-part series, we look back at what happened:

The domino of disaster started on the 18th of January 2007, when the heavily laden ship split apart in rough seas and her crew issued a mayday.

It had been a hugely successful rescue operation and with the Napoli safely under tow, the salvage team started heading up the channel towards Portland.

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But the ship never made it past Branscombe.

The damage to her hull was so severe that salvors had no option but to head to the shore and beach the ship in the soft seabed.

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John Bass was, and still is, chairman of Branscombe parish council.

He watched as the ship was run aground a couple of miles from his village.

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On the night the Napoli was beached, the weather turned. And so did the ship.

Around a hundred containers broke free and washed ashore.

Word spread quickly through the village and many locals headed down, hopeful of salvaging something worthwhile.

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Ian Barlow was one of the first on the beach:

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While the rescue of the crew of the MSC Napoli should have brought an end to this maritime disaster, it was just the beginning.

What followed was unprecedented. By morning, the brand new motorbikes became bait for a more sinister sort of beachcomber.

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The little village of Branscombe was besieged - gatecrashers coming to spoil the party...

You can catch up with Duncan Sleightholme's full report below:

Part two of this Napoli special will be on ITV News West Country tomorrow from 6pm.