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Containers litter the North Sea

Published on January 3rd, 2019

While a bad day on the water may be better than a good day at work, when a bad day on the water is when you are working, it becomes an environmental and safety sh#tstorm of the type that’s brewing in the North Sea per this BBC report:

Extensive debris has washed up on islands off the Dutch north coast after some 270 containers including chemicals fell off a cargo ship in a storm. The cargo fell off the MSC Zoe near the German island of Borkum, but the tide carried many of them to the south-west.

The Panama-registered ship is described as the biggest in Europe, with a potential cargo of 19,000 containers. As the extent of pollution became clear on five islands including Terschelling, coastguards searched the North Sea for missing containers.

Initial images showed children’s toys and TVs on Dutch beaches, but officials said three containers carried toxic substances, and Dutch and German coastguards warned local people to steer clear of them.

One of those containers had a cargo of peroxide powder, and a 25kg bag of the chemical was found on the island of Schiermonnikoog on Thursday, along with several containers and their contents.

As Storm Zeetje buffeted northern Germany with gale force winds late on the night of January 1, 270 containers of Zoe’s cargo fell off the ship as it made its way through the Wadden Sea from the Belgian port of Antwerp.

By the next morning, strong tides had already swept some of the containers on to beaches on Terschelling, Vlieland and Ameland and Dutch and German coastguard planes scoured the sea for the others.

Full report and photos: click here.

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