Clean-up under way after loss of nearly 300 containers from MSC cargo vessel
SWISS shipping line MSC has started cleaning up Dutch sea waters, 10 days after it lost nearly 300 containers from one of its largest cargo vessels in a storm.
“The clean-up will likely take months”, Dutch water authorities spokesperson Edwin de Feijter said at the weekend. “The largest part of the debris has been located, but there are still parts missing.”
At least 291 containers, some holding hazardous chemicals, fell off one of the world’s largest container ships, the MSC Zoe, on January 2 in German waters near the island of Borkum during a North Sea storm.
Two salvage ships left the harbour at IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, on Friday night, heading towards a container north of the tiny Rottumerplaat island, which is blocking an important shipping route between Germany and the Netherlands. Work was planned to start at midday on Saturday, but rough weather looked set to delay the operation, De Feijter said, adding that 238 objects had been identified in the water so far.
“Those objects are not all entire containers, they can also be part of the cargo lost from broken ones.”
Seventeen containers washed up on shore on the Dutch islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. Reuters