Boxship loses 40 containers, others burn near Strait of Juan de Fuca

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(SEATTLE) — The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard responded to a containership that lost 40 containers during heavy weather Friday 40 miles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received notification from Prince Rupert Marine Communication and Traffic Services at 12:49 a.m. Friday that the shipping vessel 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.

No injuries were reported to any crewmembers.

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The containership Zim Kingston is shown moored near Victoria, British Columbia, on Saturday. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The U.S. Coast Guard 13th District Command Center and Sector Puget Sound directed U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles to conduct a flyover at 10 a.m. An Air Station Port Angeles crew was able to locate 35 of the containers. The air crew deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy to monitor the movement of the containers.

At 2 p.m., Sector Puget Sound reported that the Canadian Coast Guard received a preliminary report from the master of Zim Kingston reporting that two containers overboard contained hazardous material.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian agencies are continuing to monitor movement of the shipping containers.

Zim Kingston moored 5 miles from Victoria, British Columbia.

At 11:11 a.m. Saturday, Rescue Coordination Center Victoria reported that Zim Kingston had two containers on fire. Sector Puget Sound and RCC Victoria arranged an overflight to monitor the area. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles was directed to do the overflight and captured imagery.

Both the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard continue to broadcast warnings as the containers pose a significant risk to mariners.

“The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor the situation, engaging with our Canadian and tribal partners to respond and support as requested while this incident continues to develop,” said Capt. Daniel Broadhurst, chief of incident management for the 13th Coast Guard District.

An incident command post, led by the Canadian Coast Guard on behalf of the government of Canada, the province of British Columbia, and First Nations representatives, has been established to manage and coordinate this multi-agency response.

Unified command is working with the Emergency Management British Columbia network through local communities to broadcast public safety information as required.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff