Heaps of debris from crippled cargo ship scattered along B.C. beaches
The contents of at least four shipping containers that fell from a cargo ship off the B.C. coast have washed ashore on Vancouver Island, the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed Thursday.
Refrigerators, styrofoam and toys are among the items strewn along the northern beaches of Cape Scott Provincial Park — all from the Zim Kingston ship that’s now anchored off Victoria.
The ship encountered rough seas west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca en route to Vancouver and listed to one side, causing 109 containers to go overboard Oct. 22. Since then, coast guard crews have worked to monitor the ship and its containers, two of which contain hazardous chemicals, said spokeswoman Michelle Imbeau.
More containers fell overboard last week as a result of a fire that broke out in two containers on the deck of the Greek-owned cargo ship.
In the next few days, it is expected that more debris, including that of car parts and clothing, will drift ashore.
Anyone who discovers cargo on the beach should report it immediately to the coast guard at 1-800-889-8852, Imbeau said.
The ship’s owner, Danaos Shipping Co., has said it is co-operating with Canadian officials and a salvage contractor to develop a plan to locate and retrieve the lost containers, which could include cleaning up debris.
Air quality monitoring in Victoria has not found any contaminants from the fire at levels that put public health at risk, according to provincial incident commander Zachery Scher.
Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island, an environmental group, said on Facebook it is monitoring the situation and urged people who find any debris onshore to treat it as toxic and not to handle it.