The Canadian Coast Guard released an update on the number of truck-size intermodal shipping containers that fell into the Pacific Ocean from a container ship during rough seas last week to more than 100, up from the original estimate of about 40.
The Maltese-flagged ZIM Kingston container ship hauled 2,000 containers with 1,000 on deck when stormy seas near Vancouver Island on Oct. 22 knocked 106 containers into the ocean. After the incident, two of the containers containing hazardous chemicals caught fire. The fire has since been extinguished, and the vessel is anchored at Constance Bank, in the Straits of Juan de Fuca off of Victoria, British Columbia.
#CCGLive: With the fire under control, the #ZimKingston crew were able to safely access the container bays on the ship. They now believe that 106 containers went overboard, not 40. The number of containers with hazardous goods – two - has NOT changed. pic.twitter.com/vTpptmqBB6— Canadian Coast Guard (@CoastGuardCAN) October 27, 2021
Some of the contents lost at sea include car parts, industrial parts and machines, Christmas decorations, clothing, toys, sofas, poker tables, and other everyday items. There are reports that some of the containers have washed ashore.
#CCGLive: we located four #ZimKingston containers on shore near Cape Scott today. The containers have now been identified, referenced against the ship manifest, and do not contain hazardous chemicals. pic.twitter.com/b6h2FsfaLE— Canadian Coast Guard (@CoastGuardCAN) October 27, 2021
#CCGLive: The Atlantic Raven continues to support operations at the #ZimKingston today with emergency tow and firefighting capacity if needed. Firefighters continue to work on the ship and on-shore air quality monitoring continues to show no impacts. pic.twitter.com/rrnhZ2cdrg— Canadian Coast Guard (@CoastGuardCAN) October 28, 2021
A majority of the containers sunk:
"They're out there being battered in heavy seas," said Mariah McCooey, Canadian Coast Guard deputy federal incident commander. "The watertight integrity is not that great."
The incident comes as global supply chains are more snarled than ever, forcing container ships to stack containers to the brim in a technique called containerization. The more containers loaded up on a vessel, the more prone it becomes to an accident at sea in adverse weather conditions. That's precisely what happened to ZM Kingston.