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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    High up above and deep down under

    Default Looters descend on Kent beach to collect the timber lost by Russian ship

    From Times Online

    January 22, 2009
    Looters descend on Kent beach to collect the timber lost by Russian ship

    (Gareth Fuller/PA)

    Timber from a Russian cargo ship washed up in Ramsgate, Kent

    Image :1 of 4

    Nico Hines and Chris Smyth

    div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p a:visited { color:#06c; } Local builder’s merchants and garden centre staff descended on the rain swept beaches of Kent today to lay claim to as much soggy timber as they could load on to their trucks.
    Around 1,500 tonnes of sawn wood was shed by a Russian cargo ship bound for Egypt and after three days adrift in the seas off South-East England it began to run aground early this morning.
    As word spread through the county that the wood was languishing on a series of beaches between Ramsgate and Margate, people rushed down to indulge in some traditional scavenging.
    On Broadstairs beach a construction worker claimed he was beach-combing, not looting the bounty.
    “If we don’t take it, the council will come along and burn it and that’s not good for the environment,” he said, smirking. He said that the soaked timber was no good for construction per se, but said it could be used for shuttering concrete or building flower-beds.

    Police spent the morning issuing threats that people taking the wood could face prosecution or hefty fines but on the scene they were merely making a note of those removing the timber and asking them to report their haul to the official receiver of the wreck.
    Kent Police said they were working closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Receiver of Wreck. The police have been authorised by the Receiver of Wreck to act on her behalf.
    People failing to comply with their directions could be committing an offence and may be arrested, and failure to report recovery of timber to the Receiver of Wreck is a criminal offence. On conviction, peoplee can be fined up to £2,500.
    The ship, Sinegorsk, issued an alert in rough seas at 8.15am on Monday after it lost its load around 14 miles off the coast of Newhaven, East Sussex.
    Since then the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been monitoring the timber as it moved in a north easterly direction towards the Dover Strait.
    Dover Coastguard said it began to receive reports of timber coming ashore on the Kent coast in the early hours of this morning.
    A spokesman said: “It is starting to come ashore now between Pegwell Bay and Ramsgate and up towards Margate. We received a report from a fisherman a mile east of Broadstairs to say there’s a massive amount of it there. He said he’d never seen so much wood in his life.
    “Our concern is that people may try to take the wood. If they wade in to recover it they are putting themselves in real danger as the sea is so rough.
    “The legality of what they are doing also needs to be questioned. They must realise it is someone else’s property.”
    The vessel, which had come from Oskarshamn, Sweden, and was bound for Alexandria, Egypt, was forced to anchor off Sandown on the Isle of Wight in the Solent, after losing the wood.
    It was listing 15 degrees to one side when it shed the timber in rough seas, but this was reduced to between five and 10 degrees after members of the 25-strong crew took ballast water into its starboard side to even it out.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003


    This happened a few years ago on the same coast line. Their were crates with motor bikes in and other more valuable stuff than wood. The problem then waw people opening crates and throwing away anything with no value (ie creating a bigger bess than was their before). My guess is this wood is now worthless and the receiver will be happy not to pay for the wood to be tidied up.


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