Todd Coyne, Gordon Kurbis
October 28, 2021
COURTENAY, B.C. –
At least four shipping containers that were lost from a stricken cargo ship off the B.C. coast have come ashore on Vancouver Island, the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed Thursday.
The containers have spilled refrigerators, toys, yoga mats and clothing onto remote beaches near Cape Scott Provincial Park on the northernmost tip of the island.
A school group from Port Hardy, B.C., got a firsthand look at debris from some of the 109 lost containers Wednesday.
The students from the Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre were on a weekly field trip to Palmerston Beach, just south of Cape Scott, where they typically learn about protecting the natural environment.
This week, what they saw was a beach littered with household appliances, toys and board games, all of it cargo from the Zim Kingston container ship currently anchored off Victoria.
Educator Jerika McArter posted photos to Facebook of some of the items the school group found.
“There is stuff everywhere: fridges, rain boots, shoes, toys, Chinese checkers boards, baby oil, food packs, hair wax, Styrofoam, backpacks and more,” McArter wrote.
“This is only one of the containers and the pictures don’t show how bad/sad it is,” she added.
The coast guard confirmed Thursday that the debris is from at least one of the containers that were lost in rough seas Friday.
Coast guard spokesperson Michelle Imbeau says anyone who discovers cargo on the beach should report it immediately to the coast guard.
Imbeau said yoga mats, clothing, children’s toys and games will be among the debris likely to drift ashore in the coming days.
The vessel’s owner, Danaos Shipping Co., has said it is working with a salvage contractor to develop a plan to locate and retrieve the lost containers.
Imbeau said the contract for the retrieval is likely to include cleaning up debris that comes ashore.
“Right now the contractor and Unified Command have positively identified the four containers found at Cape Scott by cross-referencing the ship’s manifest, and have confirmed they are not considered dangerous goods,” the coast guard said in a statement.
“The location is remote and rugged, and planning for recovery operations is underway,” the coast guard said. “The overall number of missing containers is now up to 109 and it may change again as more information comes in.”