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Maersk Expects Boxship Recovery to Last Two Weeks After Container Loss

containership arrives Mexico for survey and repairs after container loss
Damaged container ship is due to reach the terminal at Lazaro Cardenas on April 7 (APM Terminals file photo)

Published Apr 6, 2022 1:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

The containership Dyros operating under charter to Maersk from Costamare is expected to dock tomorrow in Mexico to begin the recovery after its container stack collapse two weeks ago in the northern Pacific. The vessel, which had departed China nearly three weeks ago and encountered heavy seas near Alaska, anchored off the terminal in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico earlier this week and is expected to spend at least two weeks offloading damaged containers.

The 50,680 dwt containership Dyros, which has a rated capacity of 4,578 TEU, reported the stack collapse on March 21 while she was approximately 1,200 nautical miles east of Japan near the Fox Islands in the Aleutian chain. Maersk said that the vessel lost approximately 90 containers overboard, including nine labeled dangerous cargo containing lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment. In addition, approximately another 100 containers were damaged but remained on deck after the incident.

“Once alongside, the ship will undergo further assessment and we will have more specific details on the extent of damaged containers at the end of this week,” reported a spokesperson for Maersk. “The discharge operations will also begin once alongside and are expected to take two weeks.”

While Maersk had reported that the ship would be able to continue its voyage and would be heading for a safe port, claims consultants WK Webster advised, “We understand that in view of the severity of the incident, the vessel has been re-directed to Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, where Maersk operates a container terminal, for cargo operations and inspection of the vessel.” 

Maersk believed that in addition to the container collapse the vessel had suffered some damage on deck and would require repairs. In its new statement, the shipping company warned “Dyros will also need to be assessed for any necessary repairs, which could add additional time at Lazaro Cardenas.”

The vessel arrived as expected on its revised schedule in the anchorage off the terminal on April 3 where she remains while teams carried out initial inspections. Maersk said that they expect the vessel will come alongside tomorrow, April 7, to begin the recovery process and offloading of damaged containers. Webster reported that it also would have local cargo surveyors at the terminal in Mexico to effect surveys of any damaged cargo when access to the cargo is permitted and that they were seeking to instruct a mariner surveyor to investigate the causes of this incident.

Maersk had previously said that it planned to keep the undamaged containers aboard the ship to continue the voyage to their destination. The vessel had been heading for Seattle, but they are also warning that the final plan for the cargo would be determined once the survey was completed and they understood the extent of damage to the vessel and the time required to complete the repairs.

The Mexican terminal also served a similar purpose just over a year ago when the larger Maersk Essen, a 148,723 dwt ship, lost 750 containers north of Hawaii during a winter storm. The vessel also diverted to Lazaro Cardenas where repairs to minor damage to the ship were completed as well as operations to stabilize and offload damaged containers. The vessel spent about two weeks at the terminal before proceeding on its voyage to Los Angeles.