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.
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 182 meters (597 feet) long.
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