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LONDON, England (AP) -- Marine crews concentrated Monday on removing fuel from a listing container ship which threatened bird life with spilled oil and other toxic materials on popular tourist beaches and fishing grounds of southwest England.

The French cargo ship was deliberately run aground close to the genteel Devonshire resort of Sidmouth, 165 miles (265 kilometers) southwest of London, and its crew of 26 was rescued after the ship was damaged during a storm on Thursday. (Watch English beach become instant flea market for washed up goods )

At least 200 containers went overboard, including three carrying toxic materials such as battery acid and perfume.

Scavengers help themselves

Police patrolled Branscombe beach Monday trying -- with limited success -- to keep scavengers away from about 40 containers which had washed ashore.

"A couple of hundred people have been on the beach today, taking things away, and there were around the same number last night," said Constable Steve Spearitt.

"Around 15 BMW motorbikes were carried off the beach last night," he said.

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