Maersk said Wednesday that its container ship Svendborg Maersk
may have lost more than 500 containers during rough weather in the Bay of Biscay on Friday.
An examination by cargo surveyors showed that around 520 containers were lost overboard. Around 85 percent of those lost containers were empty, said Maersk.
"The total number of lost containers turned out to be even worse than we feared. Svendborg Maersk
experienced extreme weather conditions, but also unexpectedly forceful impact on its movements. We will now carefully examine our procedures to see if they need correction in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. As of now, we remain focused on supporting our vessel crew and are dedicated to getting correct information about lost or delayed cargo to our customers and ultimately get the ship back in service as soon as possible” said Palle Laursen, vice president of operations, Maersk Line.
Maersk said none of the containers lost overboard held dangerous goods, and that the crew was safe.
It said local maritime authorities have been informed about the incident, and nautical warnings have been broadcast about floating containers. Minor damage to the ship was reported.
On Feb. 14, the Svendborg Maersk
, encountered rough weather in the Bay of Biscay, with winds of 60 knots and waves reaching 10 meters. While the company said earlier it had lost a "significant number of containers"
it said it was not able to assess the total number of boxes that went over the side until it called the port of Malaga on Feb. 17 for re-stowage of the collapsed container stacks, repair of equipment hit by shifted containers, and an examination by cargo surveyors.