The salvage work to recover the lost containers of the Marcos V has been completed. All 26 empty containers have been salvaged. The container ship lost them on 19 February in the early morning, the weekend that the storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin swept across the Netherlands.
Immediately after the loss of the containers became known, Rijkswaterstaat (which is responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands) held the shipowner liable and made arrangements to salvage the containers. The shipowner took his responsibility and appointed a salvage company. Up to a week after the loss of the containers, the sea conditions remained poor and the salvage company could not set out until Saturday, 26 February 2022.
During the search process, it turned out that the containers had been lost further south than originally assumed and later on in the sailing route of the Marcos V. The search area was therefore moved to an area about 20 miles off the coast of Den Helder. From that moment on, the locating and salvaging of the containers went smoothly.
The 26 containers contained no cargo. Yet, the containers were so damaged that they could no longer be used. Therefore, the owner of the containers has decided to recycle them.
Shipping routes near the Wadden Islands
The shipping routes close to the Dutch Wadden Islands have suffered container losses on more than one occasion, most notably, the MSC Zoe, which lost 343 containers while sailing the southern shipping lane above the Wadden Islands.
Since the MSC Zoe, container ships longer than 200 metres are now advised by the Netherlands Coast Guard to take the more northerly route in case of bad weather in order to reduce the risk of container loss. The 293-metre Marcos V was also advised to do so and followed the advice, but lost containers all the same.
The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is working on plans for vessel traffic services in order to prevent this from happening.
Picture: Earlier case of containers lost overboard (by the Netherlands Coast Guard).