5 January 2019






2 mins

Authorities in Germany and the Netherlands are continuing to respond to the loss of an estimated 270 containers from the 396 metre container ship MSC ZOE in the North Sea due to stormy weather.

Since the initial incident in German waters on Tuesday night, multiple containers have started washing up on the shore on the Wadden Islands in the northern Netherlands. Meanwhile, the ship has docked in Bremerhaven, Germany on Thursday after where crews began to inspect the rows of toppled containers.

So far, German authorities have confirmed that at least three containers carrying dangerous goods have gone overboard. At least one of those contains the hazardous substance organic peroxide. A single 25-kilo bag of the substance has washed up on the island of Schiermonnikoog, according to Dutch officials of which the residents were told not to touch 25-kg bags found on the shore. The three containers with dangerous organic peroxides ( a strong bleaching agent that can cause injury on contact with skin) are – Yellow Container Number MSCU3713629; Blue Container Number CXDU2077321 and a Rust Brown Container Number TCLU41747408.

Of the 270 containers believed lost, officials said only a few dozen have been located. The containers are mainly filled with car parts, toys, and furniture. About two dozen containers are reported to have washed up on the shores of Vlieland, Terschelling and Ameland, part of Wadden Island chain.

MSC ZOE is one of the world’s largest containerships. Watchstanders with Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies received a report around 1900 hrs on January 1 that several containers had been fallen overboard from the ship as it was underway in German waters between Vlieland, Netherlands and the German Bight in the southeastern North Sea. The containers subsequently drifted towards the northern Netherlands.

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