Scavengers swoop after containers fall from Brazilian ship

SAO PAULO: Enterprising thieves near Sao Paulo used small boats to raid dozens of containers that fell from a Brazilian cargo ship containing everything from bicycles to electronics.

In scenes reminiscent of the classic 1949 British comedy film "Whisky Galore", where Scottish islanders loot a cargo of booze from a wrecked ship, some seaside residents could not contain themselves when the modern-day bonanza tumbled from the "Log-In Pantanal" on Friday.

Photos posted on Brazilian news site G1 and social media Saturday showed the seafaring scroungers plundering the still floating containers, filled with consumer goods including car tires, electronics and bicycles.

A spilled cargo of school backpacks litters the surface of the sea in a photo shared online. In another, men can be seen walking up a beach with what look like new bicycles.

Police said 45 containers fell from the ship and that looters were being vigorously pursued.

In one incident, a "piracy" patrol chased down two speedboats loaded with stolen goods.

"In total, nine crew members were caught with more than 100 items of various products, mostly electronics and household products," a spokesman for the Sao Paulo police said.

It was not yet known how the accident occurred, but an amateur video posted online showed "Log-In Pantanal" rolling heavily in high swell near the shore.

The ship is registered in Brazil and 182m long. — AFP