Coastguards are now in the search of containers that fell off the MSC Zoe during a storm. The accident has sent debris to nearby islands and authorities are rushing to help find everything that was lost.
The debris were spotted near several islands, including Terschelling. In the last few hours, coastguards have been searching for the 270 containers that fell off during the storm. The containers fell when the MSC Zoe was near the island of Borkum. The waters have taken the containers and debris to nearby islands.
Officials have asked residents of those islands to stay away from everything they find since it could be dangerous. They explained that three of the lost containers were carrying toxic substances. One of the three containers was carrying peroxide power while another had close to 50 pounds of chemical. One of the containers with the chemicals was found in one of the islands. The cargo was found close to other containers that fell off the boat.
The MSC Zoe was carrying hundreds of containers when the incident happened. The ship, which is registered in Panama, is one of the biggest operating in Europe. The ship has a capacity of 19,000 containers.
The ship lost a total of 270 containers but coastguards have only found a few of them. The incident happened when a storm was close to Germany. MSC Zoe had left a port in Belgium when it ran into the storm.
Pictures taken by the coastguard showed the containers falling on top of each other and then into the sea. The containers were swept to nearby islands and coastguards began using planes to spot them. Some of the containers have been spotted in German waters. The Dutch coastguard recently found eleven of them close to the Schiermonnikoog and Ameland islands.
Volunteers have been helping recover the containers and clean the debris from the islands. Soldiers have also been sent in to help with the recovery operation. Pictures on social media showed volunteers and the debris that had been removed from the water so far.
In Terschelling, a large amount of TVs were seen laying on the shores. The containers lost in the storm were carrying different types of products. Toys, chairs, TVs, boxes, pallets were among the things that appeared on the shores shortly after the incident.
In Ameland, a large amount of shoes washed up on the shores. The boxes of shoes all contained plastic bags and silica gel bags. A picture from Siegmund Metselaar on Twitter showed several pairs of shoes sitting in the sand along with their plastic bags.
The mayor of the island told broadcaster NOS that they had never seen this before. He added that containers falling from ships has become more common but never on this scale.
Authorities are now focusing on the clean up of the areas since many of the products had packaging and other items that could damage the environment. Most of the products, including the TVs, appear to be heavily damaged by the water. There was one major recovery during the operation, a large amount of pink plastic ponies. Those are now on display at the shipwreck museum in Formerum.
In 2007, the MSC Napoli lost many containers after it got caught in stormy weather and suffered damage. The salvage operation of that ship had a cost of more than $100 million and it lasted over 900 days. Police were forced to close beaches when the containers appeared on the shores.