SEATTLE – The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard responded to a container vessel 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 crew members.
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 MH-65 Dolphin Short-Range Recovery Helicopter (SRR) aircrew 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 the Zim Kingston reporting that two containers overboard contained hazardous material.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian agencies will continue to monitor movement of the shipping containers. Zim Kingston moored 5 miles from Victoria, British Columbia.
At approximately 11:11 a.m. Saturday Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria reported to the Zim Kingston to have 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 US 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 to manage and coordinate this multi-agency response.
The safety of the remaining crew on the ship, and the responders on the water, is the top priority as the response operations proceed. Unified Command is working through the Emergency Management British Columbia network through local communities to broadcast public safety information as required. Further updates will be provided once the response is underway.
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