Shipping containers that toppled from a cargo ship off Vancouver Island during heavy seas have drifted up the island’s western coast, washing ashore and causing quite a mess.
According to the Canadian Coast Guard, four containers from the M/V Zim Kingston, currently anchored off the port of Victoria, were spotted near Cape Scott yesterday afternoon, where modeling predicted they would land.
“It appears that at least one of the containers, containing refrigerators, has broken open,” the Coast Guard said in a Facebook post.
It said that Unified Command has provided this information to the ship’s owner, who has hired a contractor to recover the containers that went overboard on Oct. 22.
“Right now, the contractor and Unified Command have positively identified the four containers found at Cape Scott by cross-referencing the ship’s manifest, and have confirmed they are not considered dangerous goods,” the Coast Guard added.
“The location is remote and rugged, and planning for recovery operations is underway. The overall number of missing containers is now up to 109 and it may change again as more information comes in.”
One Port Hardy woman said on Facebook that Palmerston Beach, south of Cape Scott, is littered with refrigerators, household goods, and shoes.
“There is stuff everywhere,” Jerika McArter wrote. “Fridges, rain boots, shoes, toys, Chinese checkers boards, baby oil, food packs, hair wax, styrofoam, backpacks, and more.”
At this time, the Coast Guard is asking mariners, those flying above, and the public to report any sightings of containers to 1-800-889-8852 immediately.
Last week’s fire in several of the containers on board the M/V Zim Kingston prompted the evacuation of most of its crew when it was discovered the metal boxes contained hazardous material. That said, the Coast Guard is reminding people to avoid opening or moving containers.