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Swedes' heirlooms washed up on English beach

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14:27 CET+01:00
A Swedish couple who feared their heirlooms were looted from a beached ship in Britain after spotting one of their boxes in newspaper photographs will get some of them back, authorities said Tuesday.

Anita and Jan Bokdal's possessions were being transported from Sweden to their winery in South Africa on board the MSC Napoli.

And when they saw a picture of one of their boxes with a hole in it on the beach at Branscombe, southwest England, they feared that scavengers who trawled the beach Monday had made off with its contents forever.

Jan Bokdal told The Times newspaper that their cargo, which included furniture and carpets, was worth about £130,000 (1.8 million kronor).

"It has hurt our hearts to see this happen. It is terrible -- how can they take this and how can the police let them?" she told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

But a spokesman for Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said Tuesday that the Bokdals would be reunited with their some of their possessions.

"The person that recovered them has delivered them so we can reunite her with her things," he said.

Officials have warned that beachcombers could face arrest and say that their activities have seriously hampered the recovery operation.

Hoardes of looters have descended on the Branscombe beach to grab whatever they can from the cargo washed ashore from the beached MSC Napoli.

People can legally salvage from the beach but must register their finds in case the owners want to reclaim their items.

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