British Columbia

105 missing containers tossed from ship during B.C. storm have likely sunk: coast guard

The Canadian Coast Guard says it believes that most of the 109 containers that fell from a cargo ship off Victoria in late October have sunk.

4 containers have washed up on shore; officials say there's no sign of the others

One of the shipping containers from the MV Zim Kingston that washed up on the remote northwest coast of Vancouver Island. (Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard says it believes that most of the 109 containers that fell from a cargo ship off Victoria in late October have sunk.

The containers were tossed from the MV Zim Kingston during a storm near the entrance to the Juan de Fuca Strait around the time a fire broke out on the vessel.

The coast guard said in a statement that four containers, carrying fridges and running shoes, washed ashore on northern Vancouver Island but there is no sign of the others.

The agency said it is working with the ship's owner to determine the next steps and the feasibility of trying to locate the 105 missing containers.

Danaos Shipping, which manages the Zim Kingston, said a list of what was in the containers was not yet available to them.

The coast guard said previously that two of the containers lost overboard had chemicals inside, while others held Christmas decorations, sofas, appliances, car parts, toys and other everyday items.

It said weather, high tides and storm swells have been significant factors affecting crews' attempts to clean up the beaches where four of the containers landed.

Debris from a container that fell off the MV Kingston freigher is seen at Guise Bay in northwest Vancouver Island. (Supplied by Harvey Humchitt)

The coast guard said 307 garbage bags of material, 69 bulk bags of debris, 44 fridges, three bulk bags of scrap metal and a cubic metre of scrap metal was recovered last weekend from what remained of the containers that washed ashore.

"The number of containers found beached remains at four and clean-up efforts are ongoing at these areas of northern Vancouver Island where debris has been identified. Unified Command expects a complete beach clean-up at these sites," the coast guard said in the statement.

A container that floated ashore on northwestern Vancouver Island has been taken apart by cleanup crews, it added.

The coast guard asked the public to report any containers that may float to the surface.

The Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the fire that broke out on the freighter.

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