About 40 shipping containers go overboard in rough seas off Vancouver Island

Cargo lost in rough seas

The Canadian Coast Guard has issued warnings to vessels to be careful ­navigating waters to the west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca after about 40 shipping containers went overboard in rough seas.

A statement from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services was notified Friday by the bulk carrier Zim Kingston that they had encountered rough weather west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and lost a number of containers overboard.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which is ­monitoring the situation alongside the Canadian Coast Guard, estimates there were at least 40 containers in the sea just over 69 kilometres west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and warned ­mariners that the containers may be partly submerged and not visible.

In a message to mariners, the U.S. Coast Guard warned that all vessels “should exercise extreme caution when transiting in the vicinity.”

The Canadian Coast Guard is conducting an assessment to determine if there are pollution threats and hazards from the containers.

Zim Kingston is currently safely at anchor off the coast of Victoria at Constance Bank. Its destination is ­Vancouver.

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