US and Canadian Coast Guards have responded to a container vessel Zim Kingston that lost 40 containers during heavy weather 40 miles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A later fire broke out in containers on the vessel.
The incident happened on Friday and Zim Kingston reported losing approximately 40 containers overboard when the vessel heeled 35 degrees in heavy swells 38 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The lost containers were initially reported to be general containers with no dangerous cargo but the ship later advised USCG that two boxes did contain hazardous material
A USCG flyover crew was able to locate 35 of the containers. The aircrew deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy to monitor the movement of the containers.
Both the US Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard continue to broadcast warnings as the containers pose a significant risk to mariners.
On Saturday a fire broke out on the ship and 16 crew members were evacuated leaving the remaining five to fight the fire while fire tugs were depatched to the vessel. Canadian Coast Guard Commander JJ Brickett said the company has indicated that the fire has burned itself out. Tug boats had sprayed water around the area of the fire to keep it from spreading, and a helicopter flyover on Sunday gathered evidence that this has worked.
“We can’t see any scorching or charring of those adjacent containers, that’s a really good sign,” Brickett said. “The fire is smouldering as you would expect, and we’re continuing to cool on either side.” The coast guard is telling all vessels to stay at least two nautical miles away, and the Transport Ministry has restricted all aircraft, including drones, from flying within two nautical miles or below 2,000 feet over the ship.
Danaos Shipping, the ship’s managers, have reportedly contracted a salvage firm to recover the lost containers.