Video: MSC Confirms 21 Containers Washed Ashore So Far
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has confirmed that more than 250 containers fell from the MSC Zoe during a night of heavy weather on January 2.
MSC has engaged Ardent Global to coordinate the search at sea. So far, a sonar-assisted search has helped locate hundreds of objects in the water, and so far 21 containers have washed ashore. Their contents have included electronics, car parts, furniture, clothing and toys. However, the Dutch Coast Guard has issued a warning, noting that three of the containers lost overboard contain hazardous materials, believed to be potentially explosive organic peroxides. Two bags have already been found and safely removed.
MSC has engaged a number of contractors for salvage and beach-cleaning on various sites. By deploying four wheel drive vehicles, tractors and specialist equipment such as a beach vacuum-cleaners, the response operation has achieved significant progress on the Frisian islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, in the Wadden Sea and on the mainland. In total, 1,220 metric tons of debris has been collected, says MSC. However, this week, a storm is impacting the area being cleaned.
MSC said on Saturday it would pay the full cost of the clean-up and would also ensure Dutch and German beaches were surveyed until all debris from the incident had been cleared.
The 395-meter (1,296-foot), 19,224 TEU MSC Zoe is one of the world’s largest container ships, raising some concern about such mega-vessels. The former managing director of salvage company Smit, Tak Klaas Reinigert, a resident of Schiermonnikoog told The Loadstar that the north-west force nine wind at the time of the incident should not have been a problem for a vessel that large. He suggests MSC Zoe's speed at the time of the incident should be investigated as well as the lashing of containers on the vessel.
Images courtesy of Rijkswaterstaat