40 shipping containers have fallen into the ocean after ship hits rough water off B.C. coast

Click to play video: 'Marine hazard after a ship loses 40 containers overboard near Victoria, B.C.'
Marine hazard after a ship loses 40 containers overboard near Victoria, B.C.
WATCH ABOVE: Boaters are being warned of a major marine hazard after 40 containers fell into the sea from a Vancouver-bound cargo ship. – Oct 23, 2021

Forty containers have gone overboard after a ship hit high seas off Vancouver Island Thursday.

The MV Zim Kingston heeled 35 degrees in heavy swells west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, off Cape Flattery, the United States Coast Guard said in an online statement.

The ship was on its way to Vancouver from South Korea at the time.

The MV Zim Kingston can be seen here in the distance off the coast of Victoria, B.C. It is missing 40 containers after they fell overboard in bad weather Thursday. Global News

The Coast Guard said it is monitoring the containers and are warning boaters that these containers may be submerged and not visible.

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“(There’s) no report of injuries and also no report of dangerous substances or materials in the containers that went overboard,” U.S. Coast Guard petty officer Michael Clark told Global News.

He added a helicopter flew over the area last night and spotted eight containers in the water. A locating beacon was then dropped from the helicopter.

“The vessel has gone to anchorage at Constance Bank at Victoria and they’re doing an inventory right now,” Joe Spears, managing director of the Horseshoe Bay Marine Group, told Global News.

Click to play video: 'Rare look at vaccination campaign for crews of foreign ships in B.C.'
Rare look at vaccination campaign for crews of foreign ships in B.C.

Read more: ‘Bomb cyclone’: Concerns grow over potentially stronger 2nd storm headed for B.C. coast

He said it’s not known if the containers will make their way to the coast.

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“Other vessels could hit it, small vessels, it could wash up on shore, depending if there’s chemicals on board, there could be a chemical reaction, any number of things could happen,” Spears added.

“It’s all unknown at the moment.”

Spears suggested the best course of action would be for U.S. and Canadian officials to work together and to consult fishermen and First Nations in the area to advise on where the current might take these containers.

Global BC meteorologist Kristi Gordon said the bad weather would have occurred due to the bomb cyclone that was churning off the B.C. coast Thursday.

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