MSC Zoe, a container ship capable of carrying over 19,000 containers was caught in a storm in the Wadden Sea as it made its way from the Belgian port of Antwerp on New Year’s Day, when more than 250 containers carrying toys, white goods, household items and toxic chemicals were swept off the ship in high seas.
In addition to the damage, loss, and fears that other ships could be damaged by the drifting cargo from the incident, concerns were also focused on the potential environmental damage. The contents of the containers, including toys, shoes, and even flat-screen TVs, washed ashore littering beaches on the Dutch islands of Vlieland, Terschellin, while part of a cargo of peroxide washed up onto the beach of the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog.
The Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) which owns the ship was quick to respond to the incident and accepted all costs for the huge cleanup operation which is being overseen by marine salvage and emergency management company Ardent Global. A number of contractors, appointed by MSC and its insurers, are also helping with salvage and beach-cleaning at the various sites.
MSC have promised customers that they will “strive to account for loss or damage to cargo, and deliver the cargo in thousands of containers which remain in good condition, as quickly as possible.”