Eyes turn to lost container cleanup as the fire is extinguished on cargo ship in BC

Nearly a week after a fire broke out aboard a damaged cargo ship near Victoria, BC, crews have finally managed to put out the flames.

But efforts continue to track and recover the estimated 109 shipping containers that fell from MV Zim Kingston in the hard seas west of Vancouver Island last Thursday.

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The Coast Guard now believes more than 100 containers fell from the MV Zim Kingston cargo ship

Only four of these containers have been considered, washed up on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, near Cape Scott.

Global News visited Palmerston Beach on Friday, where one of the containers was washed ashore and scattered dozens of refrigerators in the remote and pristine coastline.

Other items Global found on the beach ranged from running shoes to children’s games to pink inflatable unicorns.

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North Island local Jeannie McCormack was on the beach Friday to examine the debris.

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Shipping containers lost off the BC coast could reach the coast, the Coast Guard says

“It’s pretty sad,” she said.

“The province has done a lot in the last two years with a cleanup along the entire coast and focused a lot of energy on a cleanup, and now we have a big mess again.”

Among the sea-soaked toys and consumer goods was also a considerable amount of plastic and Styrofoam packaging, which could prove challenging to clean up.

“I know a lot of people who have been a part of the beach cleanup, and Styrofoam is the hardest part to clean up,” said local Nathan Small.

“It just breaks into tiny tiny granules and becomes impossible to separate from sand, so unfortunately it’s going to be here for a long time.”

Danaos Shipping Co., the leader of Zim Kingston, has signed a contract with Pacificus Biological Services to manage coastal cleanup and Amix Group for the recycling of containers by the water, the Canadian Coast Guard said Friday.

The Coast Guard added that it was not looking for volunteers to clean up debris due to safety issues.

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No contractors or government officials were present on the beach when Global News participated.

At least two of the remaining lost cargo containers are loaded with hazardous chemicals, while the rest contain consumables, including Christmas decorations, furniture and appliances.

The Coast Guard says runway modeling from the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada shows that the containers that remain liquid will continue to drift north.

Back at Zim Kingston, Danaos Shipping says a specialized crew is ready to begin cleaning the charred remains of several containers on the ship’s deck.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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