Waggoner received a report from the United States Coast Guard that 40 shipping containers were lost overboard, which was later revised to 106 containers lost, at approximately 48.28.18 North and 125.39.25 West. This position is about 25 miles off the entrance buoy to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and 25 miles southwest of Barkley Sound. These containers may be partially submerged and not visible. Mariners should exercise extreme caution when transiting the vicinity. The Coast Guard later reported that the containers are drifting northward and currently 17 miles off Barkley Sound as of October 22, early evening. Coast Guards from the U.S. and Canada are jointly monitoring the situation. A helicopter deployed a beacon to help track movement of the containers and warn mariners of the potential danger.
The cargo vessel, Zim Kingston, experienced more trouble on Saturday morning, October 23rd – fire spread to 10 containers after 2 damaged containers carrying hazardous materials caught fire. The Canadian Coast Guard evacuated 16 crew members, while 5 crew members remained onboard to control the fire. The vessel is currently anchored near Victoria. A one nautical mile emergency zone has been set up around the vessel; mariners are advised to stay out of the area, away from the vessel.
Late Tuesday, October 26, authorities received updated accounting of the number of shipping containers originally lost overboard, now determined to be 106; two contain hazardous chemicals. It is suspected that some containers have sunk. It has also been reported that some containers have made their way to Cape Scott on northern Vancouver Island; reports of containers coming ashore have not yet been received.
Photo by SKULD