Accroding to a statement issued on behalf of the A.P.Moller-Maersk Group, container vessel Svendborg Maersk lost a significant number of containers overboard during very rough weather in the Bay of Biscay.
On Friday, February 14, the container vessel Svendborg Maersk encountered very rough weather in the Bay of Biscay while en route to Colombo, Sri Lanka, leading to minor vessel damage and the loss of a significant number of containers. The crew is safe and accounted for.
Maersk said weather conditions at the time of the incident were severe, with wind blowing 60 knots and waves reaching 10 m. Local maritime authorities were informed about the incident and nautical warning broadcasted about floating containers.
Safety precautions prevented assessment of the amount of lost containers before the ship was alongside in the port and daylight had broken. The vessel called the port of Malaga on Monday evening, February 17 for re-stowage of the collapsed stacks and repair of various equipment hit by shifted containers. The following examination by cargo surveyors onsite showed that around 520 containers have been lost over board, approximately 85% of which were empty. Moreover, none of the containers lost over board held dangerous goods.
“The total number of lost containers turned out to be even worse than we feared. Svendborg Maersk experienced extreme weather conditions, but also unexpectedly forceful impact on its movements. We will now carefully examine our procedures to see if they need correction in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. As of now we remain focused on supporting our vessel crew and are dedicated to getting correct information about lost or delayed cargo to our customers and ultimately get the ship back in service as soon as possible” says Palle Laursen, Vice President of Operations, Maersk Line.
Maersk Line customers service representatives will keep customers informed of the status of their cargo as soon as it has been accurately assessed which units have been lost and which have suffered damages.