The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(MIAMI) — Coast Guard crews responded to reports of multiple containers falling off a barge off the coast between Port Canaveral, Fla., and West Palm Beach, Fla., on Sunday.
The U.S.-flagged 136-foot Capt. Latham was en route to Puerto Rico as it tugged a 340-foot barge, Columbia Elizabeth, when crew aboard noticed several cargo containers hanging over the port side of the barge and believed more had fallen into the water while in transit. The Capt. Latham terminated their course toward Puerto Rico and diverted to Port of Palm Beach for further investigation.
A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Miami and a crew from the Coast Guard cutter Margaret Norvell responded to the report to assess the barge.
At approximately 3 p.m., the vessel moored safely in the Port of Palm Beach. It was then determined that up to 25 containers were unaccounted for. Several of the containers were confirmed to be carrying batteries.
One of the containers washed ashore in Port Canaveral.
The Coast Guard is investigating the incident and planned to launch an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft to begin searching at sunrise.