In rough seas and strong winds off the coast of Borkum, Germany, the ultra-large container ship MSC Zoe lost 270 containers overboard
Shipping Company released a statement in response to the incident, which occurred on January 1st and 2nd, saying that they are working to locate the missing containers and inform customers of damages
“MSC has started a clean-up operation in response to a substantial spill of containers in the North Sea,” the company said. “The cargo ship MSC Zoe encountered heavy weather while sailing toward Bremerhaven, Germany, on 2 January. Unfortunately, a number of the containers were damaged or lost overboard amid very difficult conditions.”
The company has appointed a salvage company to coordinate the retrieval of cargo and beach clean-up operations and is also deploying specialised ships equipped with sonar to search for missing cargo at sea, the statement added.
“MSC takes this incident very seriously, both in terms of the impact of such accidents on the natural environment and in terms of any damage to customers’ cargo. In all aspects of the clean-up MSC is collaborating with local authorities,” it added.
Some 270 containers were lost, mainly with spare parts, toys and furniture. There are though, 3 containers with dangerous organic peroxides that can decompose very rapidly or explosively if they are exposed to only slight heat, friction, mechanical shock or contamination with incompatible materials.
At least 21 containers already washed ashore with contents of a number of them scattered on beaches in Germany, they contain mainly car parts and toys.
ZOE meanwhile, is slowly moving in northern direction, reportedly trying to assess the number of lost containers, and probably, other damages.