The container ship Marcos V reported to the Netherlands Coast Guard that it lost at least 26 empty containers at sea on Saturday 19 February. The ship was en route to Rotterdam and lost the containers between the north of the Dutch Wadden Island Vlieland and the west of Schoorl.

The Coast Guard cooperates with Rijkswaterstaat and the safety region Fryslân regarding the further handling of this incident. Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands.

Rijkswaterstaat is supervising the salvage of the containers and the organisation holds the ship’s manager liable. The safety region has initiated an active search for containers on the Wadden Islands. If beach visitors find containers or parts of containers, they can report this to the municipality.

The Marcus V departed via the northern route along the Wadden Islands in the direction of Rotterdam on 18 February the ship. The wind at sea was 9-10 bft and the waves were around 8 metres high.

Locating containers

The Dutch Coast Guard’s emergency tug Guardian was already at sea due to the strong wind and was immediately deployed to search for floating containers. The Coast Guard plane was alerted to conduct an aerial search. To date, no containers have been found. The Coast Guard warns shipping traffic on the danger of the lost containers.

Also read: How to act to prevent parametric rolling in following seas and avoid container loss

Route advice

Earlier in the week, on 17 February, the Marcos V was sailing towards Germany. The Coast Guard reports it called the 293-metre-long ship and gave route advice. The Marcos V took the northern route towards Germany.

The Dutch Coast Guard provides ships with routing advice in adverse weather. After the accident with the MSC Zoe, which lost 343 containers while sailing the southern shipping lane above the Wadden Islands, container ships longer than 200 metres are now advised by the Coast Guard to take the more northerly route in case of bad weather in order to reduce the risk of container loss.

Also read: Dutch Minister: We are looking into vessel traffic services to prevent container loss

Picture (top): The Guardian was immediately deployed to search for possible floating containers (by Netherlands Coast Guard).