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Zim boxship hit by fire after losing 40 containers off Vancouver Island

2008-built 4,253 boxship Zim Kingston, bound for Vancouver, Canada, lost 40 containers overboard on Friday in rough seas 70 km west of the Juan de Fuca Strait, which runs between Canada and the US south of Vancouver Island. The Coast Guards of both countries have issued warnings for ships in the area to watch for floating containers. They are also working together to monitor the containers.

The US Coast Guard located eight of the containers and is tracking them as they head north, according to a tweet.

The vessel anchored about eight km off the coast of Victoria, where some containers then caught fire on Saturday.

Because two of the burning containers hold potassium amylxanthate, labelled a “reactive flammable material” by the Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, the Canadian Coast Guard said responders could not apply water directly to the fire. Instead, they cooled the ship’s hull with water.

Danaos Shipping, which manages the ship, told CBC News the fire “appears to have been contained.” ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, which operates the vessel, said the ship itself was not on fire.

“Danaos have commissioned a salvage and fire extinguishing agency to come on board in order to ensure that conditions are appropriate for the safe return of the vessel’s crew,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Sixteen crew members had been evacuated from the ship, while five stayed on board to help with the fire-fighting effort.

US-based Resolve Marine Group has been engaged for salvage operations.

Credit Splash24 by Kim Biggar

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