Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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ZIM Kingston fire update

Calm seas allowed firefighters to finally board the ZIM Kingston a 4253 TEU capacity container ship which has been on fire off the coast of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. As per the Canadian Coast Guard, six firefighters and seven crew members boarded the ship on Monday night as fires in containers still on board the ship continued to smoulder.

In a video released by CHEK News, Paul Barrett, planning section chief with the Canadian Coast Guard’s incident command post, is seen saying that firefighters have identified five containers said to contain tyres that are still burning.

The firefighting crews are deploying individual tactics to address these fires including the utilization of water mist … to suppress the fire inside the ISO containers. Boundary cooling by vessels will continue in support of the firefighting crew onboard Zim Kingston.” said Barrett adding that a total of 20 personnel including surveyors and firefighting teams are on board the ship.

The one nautical mile emergency zone around the anchored container vessel still remains in place and several multiple response vessels are stationed nearby to assist as required.

It’s currently estimated that two to three days are required to make the vessel ready for further salvage actions,” Barrett said.

In the meantime, it has now been established that 109 containers have fallen into the sea in rough weather, more than double of the 40 containers that were estimated to have been initially lost.

Mariah McCooey, deputy federal incident commander, advised that this updated figure follows overflights and information provided by the ship’s crew. “Right now, our best count is 109. This is still an ongoing challenge, of course, and it could change,” she said.

These containers have been identified at sea over a period of few days with 28 containers identified in the sea on Saturday and another 14 identified on Sunday. Some of these containers are drifting along the west coast of northern Vancouver Island and the Canadian Coast Guard have confirmed in a tweet that they have located 4 of these containers on shore near Cape Scott, 400 kms away.

Salvage experts are expected to secure the containers while environmental experts will monitor this work ready to respond to any potential marine pollution. As per the Canadian Coast Guard, “Once the ship is secured, Transport Canada inspectors will inspect the ship and then direct it to a port (not determined yet) for unloading and any further inspections. There may be changes to this process depending on the results of each step.“.

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