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Cricket identities join in beach scavenge

Christmas in Hoggshire came early this year as lucky Egg Thieves Rock residents helped themselves to cargo set adrift from a sinking container ship carrying dehydrated military food bound for Afghanistan.

Veteran umpire Larry Tugg, was one of the first to arrive and helped himself to the pick of the spoils washed up on Whale Rescue Beach.

"A lot of the food has come into contact with water so it needs to be frozen or eaten straight away," said Tugg.

Mrs. Thudd's cat on the beg.

"I phoned my sister Betty and asked her to fetch a strainer and as many Tupperware containers as she could get her hands on. Before long she had filled the lot with enough gravy, custard and egg powder to last a lifetime. We'll never need to shop again."

Groundsman Lionel Thudd was equally satisfied with the crate of powdered milk he salvaged. "I won't have to lie next time my wife asks me if I've fed the cat," he boasted.

News of the bonanza travelled fast and choice pickings were exhausted by the time latecomers arrived.

Egg Thieves Rock Cricket Club tea lady Elsie Swann was particularly disappointed. "The water in our clubhouse has been unsanitary for years so I was on the lookout for water purification tablets and cholera pills," she revealed.

Himmelbraun consoles a boating widow with a salvaged woodbine.

"Yet the only thing I ended up taking home was a distressed seal that had managed to get its head stuck in a pot noodle container. I was under the impression that seals were a seafood delicacy but they are more like kitten meat - only edible when stewed."

Investigators have yet to determine why the ship sank but it appears likely that it was damaged while attempting to navigate its way through the notoriously hazardous Crown of Thorns Reef.

Yet eyebrows were raised in anti-fascist circles when it was revealed last night that Otto Himmelbraun, a prominent member of Hoggshire's Nationalist Socialist community, was among the first members of the public to arrive at the scene of the disaster.

Himmelbraun has been quick to dismiss suggestions that he is personally responsible.

Ted Gutter supports a balanced approach to environmentalism, believing that: "green initiatives can co-exist alongside traditional practices such as pouring chip fat and medical waste into waterways."

"I happened to be in a submarine defending our shores at the time so it is hardly surprising that I was nearby," he said.

"National Socialists undertake a good deal of unpaid community work. We do not expect to be thanked but it is upsetting that we get the blame whenever we are in the vicinity of a sinking ship."

Ted Gutter, Mayor of Hoggshire, has poured cold water on conspiracy theories. "People need to stop blaming our minority communities whenever there is a maritime disaster," he said.

"The recent rise in boating tragedies could be due to our current solar powered lighthouse trial, it might have something to do with our new artificial mobile reef, or it could simply be a fortunate coincidence."

"Whatever the reason, public appropriation of shipwreck cargo remains the key economic activity of West Hoggshire residents and we should be greeting this latest scavenging opportunity for what it is: good news for the local economy."