Empty containers lost at sea near Island after Hanjin ship hits rough weather

Rough weather sent 35 empty shipping containers on the Hanjin Seattle tumbling into the ocean off the west coast of southern Vancouver Island.

The containers hit the sea shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 3, Rachelle Smith, spokeswoman for the Canadian Coast Guard, said Monday.

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Mariners received a warning from the Coast Guard that the containers might be a danger to navigation. The notice went out after the Hanjin Seattle said the containers were adrift nearly eight nautical miles west of Pachena Point, south of Barkley Sound. The depth of the sea at that point is 100 metres.

The Coast Guard’s marine communications and traffic services centre notifies vessels travelling in that area when it issues warnings. “There have been no further reports regarding these containers made to CCG requiring further action,” Smith said.

>>>Click here to watch a video report about wrecked containers from Ukeedaze magazine.

A U.S. Coast Guard official said the Hanjin Seattle docked in Seattle after the incident and was inspected there.

The 587-foot-long Hanjin Seattle is caught in the Hanjin Shipping company’s financial collapse, with some of the company’s ships stranded in global ports because of unpaid bills. Hanjin sought creditor protection in Korea on Aug. 31.

Another company, the Korea Line, has been selected by the courts in that country as the preferred bidder for the company’s Asia-U.S. business.

Meanwhile, two other Hanjin ships, the Vienna and the Scarlet, are also in B.C. waters.

The Hanjin Vienna is at anchor at Constance Point, visible from Dallas Road in Victoria. The ship is owned by a German company and managed by another German firm, which leased it to Hanjin.

It was arrested in Vancouver for money owed to creditors and has been detained in this area since early September. The ship’s owner has been ensuring supplies are provided to the vessel and crew members are paid.

The Hanjin Scarlet is also moored nearby. It is at anchor between Pender and Saturna Islands, where a skeleton crew of 13 are keeping it in operating condition. Many of the Scarlet’s crew, including its previous captain, have left the ship and replacement workers have come in.

The vessel was recently in Vancouver Harbour where its cargo was unloaded. Prior to that, it had been arrested when in Prince Rupert port and had been moored offshore. The International Transport Workers Federation is watching over the crew’s well-being and the bosun has been appointed spokesman.

It is not known when the Vienna and Scarlet may move on.

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