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 182 meters (597 feet) long.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)