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MSC: 1,220 tons of debris collected in MSC Zoe cleanup operation

Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said that significant
progress has been made in the clean-up operation of the debris originating from
containers that 
fell from MSC Zoe on
January 2 during heavy weather.

In total 1,220 metric tons of debris have been collected on the German
and Dutch beaches since the incident, according to MSC.
“By deploying 4×4 vehicles, tractors and specialist equipment such as a
beach vacuum-cleaners the response operation has achieved significant progress
on the Frisian islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog,
in the Wadden Sea and on the mainland,”
 the company said in
the latest update.
The company has hired Ardent Global to coordinate the search at the sea.
As informed, sonar-assisted search has helped locate hundreds of objects
in the water in recent days and these contacts are being evaluated by MSC’s
contractors and the authorities. So far, 21 entire containers were washed up.
Overall, relevant authorities and MSC have located 238 containers so
 with the majority being spread over a length of 23 miles
above the Dutch municipalities Terschelling, Schiermonnikoog and east of this
of containers from the sea 
Dutch public works and water management department Rijkswaterstaat
is working with relevant counterparts on a salvage plan of the spilled
containers, which should be launched soon. However, the complex, large-scale
operation aimed at salvaging the containers at sea depends upon a number of
conditions, including weather, tide, shipping traffic in the busy waterway and
Two broken containers were salvaged on January 7, and there are over 40
yet to be located.
A total of 291 containers were thrown overboard by bad weather from MSC
Zoe, according to the latest deck inspection data cited by Rijkswaterstaat. The
containers added to the overall tally do not contain hazardous substances,
based on the latest update.
Inclement weather is hampering the clean up operations and sonar
operations scheduled for today had to be suspended pending improved weather
“This week, a storm is impacting the area being cleaned and
unfortunately this will interrupt some operations. Response teams nonetheless
remain vigilant and are proactively monitoring for any subsequent recharging of
beaches with materials from MSC Zoe, as a result of the weather and sea
 MSC said.
Commenting on the incident, environmental organization Greenpeace, whose
members have also taken part in the cleanup efforts, called on the mandatory
introduction of real-time locating systems for containers transporting
dangerous goods on European shipping lanes.
The call was made as it was determined that at least two of the
fallen containers from MSC boxship contained hazardous substances, including
dibenzoyl peroxide as well as dicyclohexyl phthalate, according to Greenpeace.
Viola Wohlgemuth, chemical expert from Greenpeace, pointed out that the
technology is available, as SMART containers allow for the cargo to be
located more easily at sea in case of loss.
“MSC is at the forefront of developments in the smart-containerisation
of our industry and is increasingly offering smart container solutions to
interested customers. However, to date, only a small proportion of the shipping
industry’s global container fleet is equipped with real-time tracking devices.
More research is needed to find a system that will work under a range of
conditions both out of the water and in the water,”
MSC spokesperson told World Maritime News in a statement on the matter.
World Maritime News 

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