Advertisement

TVs, furniture wash up on Dutch islands after container ship loses cargo

Click to play video: 'Accident involving cargo ship causes boxes of electronics to wash ashore on Dutch island' Accident involving cargo ship causes boxes of electronics to wash ashore on Dutch island
WATCH: Dozens of containers washed up on the Dutch islands of Terschelling and Vlieland – Jan 2, 2019

AMSTERDAM — Dozens of containers with items including flat-screen televisions have washed up on Dutch islands in the North Sea after a ship lost part of its cargo in heavy seas, bringing a windfall for local treasure hunters.

READ MORE: Robot found ‘Holy Grail of shipwrecks,’ with up to $17B in treasure aboard

The Dutch Coast Guard said up to 270 containers had fallen off the Panamanian-flagged MSC ZOE, one of the world’s biggest container ships, in rough weather near the German island of Borkum and floated southwest toward Dutch waters.

Containers broke open on the shores of the Dutch islands of Terschelling and Vlieland. Others were floating or stranded off the coasts of Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, part of a chain of islands that guard the Dutch coast.

A person carries a flat-screen television set as others inspect a cargo container after it washed up on a beach in Terschelling, Netherlands January 2, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. Erik Scheer via REUTERS
A handout aerial photo made available by the Dutch Coastguard on January 3, 2019 shows the container ship MSC ZOE. Dutch Coastguard/Handout via REUTERS
A handout aerial photo made available by the Dutch Coastguard on January 3, 2019 shows floating containerw that have fallen from the container ship MSC ZOE. Dutch Coastguard/Handout via REUTERS
Flat-screen television sets and debris lie washed up on a beach in Terschelling, Netherlands January 2, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. Erik Scheer via REUTERS
A handout aerial photo made available by the Dutch Coastguard on January 3, 2019 shows floating containerw that have fallen from the container ship MSC ZOE. Dutch Coastguard/Handout via REUTERS
A handout aerial photo made available by the Dutch Coastguard on January 3, 2019 shows the container ship MSC ZOE. =. Dutch Coastguard/Handout via REUTERS
Story continues below advertisement
A handout aerial photo made available by the central command for maritime emergencies Havariekommando on their website on January 2, 2019 shows the container ship MSC ZOE. Havariekommando/Handout via REUTERS
A handout aerial photo made available by the Dutch Coastguard on January 3, 2019 shows the container ship MSC ZOE. Dutch Coastguard/Handout via REUTERS

The Coast Guard warned ships in the area to beware of floating containers. Three containers holding hazardous materials have not yet been located, the Coast Guard said.

Story continues below advertisement

Dutch media reported that local treasure hunters had found an array of items from containers whose contents had spilled, including light bulbs, car parts, Ikea furniture, clothing and toys.

Local media carried pictures of groups of people congregating around beached blue containers and one carrying off what appeared to be a flatscreen TV still packed in foam.

READ MORE: Shipping container rental suites coming soon to Edmonton neighbourhood

Such material is considered flotsam, and residents of the islands have a centuries-old tradition of collecting it.

It was unclear if the goods were water-damaged.

The mayor of the island of Vlieland, Tineke Schokker, said that the municipality doesn’t mind scavenging.

“It’s just really nice of people,” she told local news agency ANP.

“Processing it would cost more than the stuff is worth, and anyway with the two officers we have it would be impossible to guard, the stuff is littered over the whole beach.”

A spokesman for the ship’s operator, MSC, had no immediate comment.

Sponsored content