An Ocean Network Express containership has lost a “significant” number of containers overboard in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1,600 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii, the ship’s manager has reported.
NYK Shipmanagement Pte Ltd said the containers were lost overboard during severe weather on Monday night (November 30) as the vessel was underway from Yantian, China to Long Beach, California. During the voyage, the vessel encountered a storm cell producing gale-force winds and large swells, causing the ship to roll heavily and resulting in the containers dislodging and falling into the ocean, the company said.
It is now reported that more than 1,900 containers may have been lost or damaged as a result of the incident, 40 of which are believed to hold dangerous cargoes. This is therefore now a major incident that will impact a great number of cargo interests and their insurers.
The containers currently remaining on board in the affected container bays are said to be unsafe for close-quarter inspection and it is likely that more containers will be impacted as the vessel proceeds to a port of refuge.
The vessel is now reported to be sailing westwards towards Japan in the opposite direction to its originally scheduled port of call, Long Beach, USA. The exact port of refuge is not yet known, but one source reports that it may be Kobe in Japan.
Upon arrival at the port of refuge, steps will be taken to assess the extent of the loss and damage and to make safe any unstable containers remaining on board. There will also be a full investigation into the incident involving the appropriate maritime authorities.
Source: G Captain