MSC steps up clean-up after North Sea cargo spill

The MSC Zoe that spilled some 270 boxes in the North Sea.

Shipping company MSC has stepped up clean-up operations along the North Sea coast after one of its carriers, the MSC Zoe, hit rough seas near the German island of Borkum, spilling around 270 boxes overboard around New Year’s day.

Strong currents drove containers further south and some 20 boxes ended up on the shores of Dutch islands Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog.

Beaches were scattered with toys, furniture, footwear, flat-screen TVs, and highly explosive organic peroxides that MSC said hadn’t caused any injury.

Since then it has been reported that the shipping line has stepped up mop-up operations and has offered to bear the costs of the clean-up.

A specialised response company, Ardent Global, has been contracted to oversee operations and, along with MSC, assist authoritie.

Clean-up operations involved, among others, the use of high-speed vessels with grabbing gear that’s remotely operated while underwater recovery has been aided by ships with sonar-tracing equipment.

According to shipping and freight writer, Hariesh Manaadiar, “in Terschelling alone, some eight containers of materials were collected using industrial raking machines with the help of drones which were used to scan the area”.

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