Category: Weird Articles
Published on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 00:00
A container measuring 12 meters long and packed completely full with 14 tons (14,000kg) of cigarettes was washed off a tanker along with 516 other containers during a fierce storm in the Bay of Biscay earlier this month and ended up on the Devon Coast last Sunday.
Before all you smokers start rejoicing and booking your air tickets to recover as many cigarette packets as you can haul, you should know that the finders keepers policy does not apply in this scenario. Police have been sent to patrol the beach to chase off treasure hunters while the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is arranging recovery of the Maersk container.
This container will not be the only one to wash up on shore with plenty of goodies though. It is speculated that the other 516 containers lost out at sea will wash up on the Lyme Bay coast in the coming days. So whoever is there when the other containers wash up on the beaches, good on you! Grab whatever you can and run like hell before the police arrive!
The container spilled its contents onto the pebbly beach
Meanwhile on cigarette beach, police officers have cordoned off the beach and issued a stern warning to anyone hoping to score some free loot.
“It was reported by a member of the public,” a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said. “Officers are on scene to make sure no one puts themselves at risk to recover anything.”
Wow who is this “member of the public” that spoilt everyone's fun of treasure hunting? Shame on you!
“The contents belong initially to the original owner of the container, and then to the official Receiver of Wrecks, so anyone taking anything that washes ashore, even one packet of cigarettes, is effectively committing theft and will be prosecuted.”
“'So the message to anyone intending to go down there looking for free fags is don't bother.”
Tee hee! He said “fags”.
The container ship which was built in 1998 was reportedly heading from Rotterdam to Sri Lanka when the containers toppled over into the sea after it was caught in a fierce storm on 14 February. It was the biggest loss of cargo for the company.
The police spokesman added: 'We're told most of them would have sunk or washed up in France, but this was one that bobbed its way all the way to here,' said the police spokesman.