VICTORIA – A container ship that lost 40 containers overboard in a storm and then caught fire is no longer on fire, according to the company that is renting the ship.
Now, Canadian and US agencies are working together to recover the containers, two of which reportedly contain hazardous material. All of them could pose a risk to ships in the area, in the event of a collision.
In a statement, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services said firefighting tugs were still working at ZIM Kingston on Monday morning, but their job now is to prevent further fires from breaking out. The flames that previously engulfed at least two containers on the ship have been extinguished, the company said.
However, the cleanup surrounding ZIM Kingston is far from over, as the ship lost “dozens” of containers overboard near the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which lies between Vancouver Island and the western part of the state. Washington before the ship anchored five miles away. the Victoria shore and caught fire.
“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 has been established to manage and coordinate this multi-agency response,” the statement read. release. of the United States Coast Guard.
The inclement weather on Friday, that is, large waves that tipped the ship 35 degrees, were the cause of the fall of the container, the coast guard statement said. An overpass by the US agency located 35 of the containers that morning, and they are now being monitored by US and Canadian authorities. The ZIM Kingston sought refuge off Victoria rather than continuing to its final destination, Vancouver. A total of 16 crew members were rescued from the ship.
As strong winds – and an impending “cyclone bomb” – continued to threaten the area, a recovery operation for the containers was not expected to take place until the weather calmed down.
In an update Monday morning, the Canadian Coast Guard posted on Twitter that rescue crews were spraying water on the hull and containers to cool them while the containers continued to “burn” but not burn.