Salvage operation still going on for overboard containers from MSC Zoe
EFFORTS are still underway to salvage 290 cargo containers that fell off the 19,000 TEU MSC Zoe during a storm on January 2 near the German island of Borkum
22 January 2019 - 19:00
The containers floated southwest, with some washing up on the Dutch islands of Terschelling and Vlieland.
MSC has confirmed that 21 containers washed up on shore and seven were recovered from the water. The contents of many others ended up on the beach, leading to an extensive clean-up effort. Indeed, some 240 containers have been found as of January 18, reported The Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Two subsea construction vessels, the Geosund and the Atlantic Tonjer, were chartered to raise the sunken containers from the bottom of the sea and bring them to shore. The broken containers will be 'taken out of the sea with a gripper,' according to the Rijkswaterstaat, and the less damaged ones are marked for later removal.
Several fishing boats are working alongside these ships to scoop up any cargo debris that washes loose during the operation and six survey vessels are supporting the effort to locate the missing boxes. The salvage response is expected to take several months and has already been delayed by poor weather conditions.
Authorities in the Netherlands intend to seek damages from ocean carrier MSC for the clean-up costs stemming from the cargo loss.
They have also launched a criminal investigation into whether the casualty was the result of any criminal acts - in particular, whether the country's domestic Pollution Prevention Act may have been violated. The inquiry is expected to take several weeks.
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