Alert Issued After Containers Go Overboard


Vessels sailing east of South Africa have been issued an urgent alert warning to look out for several cargo containers which fell from a container ship off the coast of Durban.

The incident, which happened on 7 August 2018, is being investigated by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

The vessel in question, MSC Chloe, lost 13 containers while sailing across the Indian Ocean, according to SAMSA.

Shane Freeman explores empty container examinations in a recent Port Technology technical paper

In a statement on the accident, SAMSA said: “The vessel was on a voyage from Coega (Ngqurha port in Port Elizabeth) to Durban.

“Reportedly the vessel was drifting and awaiting berthing instructions when a huge swell struck and caused the vessel to roll about +/- 30 degrees on either side, thereby leading to the containers falling off their stacked position.

“A navigational warning is being broadcasted by the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) Cape Town and transiting vessels in and around the area are requested to keep a sharp lookout and to report to MRCC Cape Town and Durban Port Control of any sighting.”

MSC has confirmed that the containers were carrying non-dangerous cargo, such as cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, machinery shafts and agricultural supplies.

None of the lost containers were carrying any pollutants.​​​

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