MSC says it will pay cost of container-spill clean-up

Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has said that it will pay the cost of cleaning up the results of a 281-container spill from MSC Zoe (IMO 9703318) in a North Sea storm last week,

“MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company would like to reassure authorities and members of the public in the Netherlands and Germany that the company will pay the full costs of the clean-up of the January 2nd MSC Zoe container spill,” the company said on Tuesday January 8th.

MSC said that it was committed to continuing a search of the sea for the containers which fell overboard until the last one is found. It added that it would also ensure that the beaches of the Dutch and German coastlines were surveyed until all debris related to this incident had been cleared.

MSC confirmed the appointment of Ardent Global to coordinate the search at sea in both countries in collaboration with the relevant authorities.

On January 6th further flotsam from the load of MSC Zoe was found on Borkum, Leer, Germany. These were mainly toys, packaging material and bicycle parts. Since the beginning of the mission, the forces on Borkum have collected almost 45m³ of flotsam, including polystyrene and toys such as plastic weapons and helmets or protective vests, as well as TVs and mattress protectors.

The DO 228 oil surveillance aircraft did not spot any new containers during a morning flight. In addition to the ‘Neuwerk’, ‘Mellum’, ‘Gustav Meyer’, ‘Norden’, ‘Wega’, ‘Bad Bramstedt’ and ‘Borkum’, the sounding ship ‘Paapsand’ was also involved in the search.

On the Dutch coast the situation appeared to have eased after several days of large-scale operations with the help of many volunteers.

Rijkswaterstaat has located 240 containers above Terschelling and Schiermonnikoog. There were 18 that had drifted to the beach and 222 that sank to the seabed. A further 41 have not yet been located. Meanwhile MSC Zoe is being unloaded in Bremerhaven. Some 400 to 500 damaged containers will have to be removed with special equipment, although at the moment the focus was on the removal of intact containers in order to get access to the damaged boxes. The work was expected to take some weeks.

2015-built, Panama-flagged, 192,237 gt MSC Zoe is owned by Xiangxing International Ship Lease Co Ltd care of Mediterranean Shipping Co SA of Geneva, Switzerland. ISM manager is Mediterranean Shipping Co of Naples, Italy. It is entered with West of England on behalf of Xiangxing International Ship Lease Co Ltd.