Felistowe Dockers

Felistowe Dockers

Friday, 28 February 2014

Shippers must prepare to accept more transhipment as services are rationalised


Cochin_International_Contrainer_Transhipment_Terminal



The seemingly infinite increase in the size of ultra-large containerships and the trend towards bigger alliances has led to a surge in transhipment activity – no more so than at Mediterranean hubs, according to shipping consultant Drewry.
In its latest weekly Container Insight, Drewry notes that transhipment volumes at key Mediterranean hubs soared by an average of over 8% in 2013 versus the previous year – with certain ports with direct links to major carriers, such as Tanger Med [+38%] and Piraeus [+19%], considerably exceeding this figure.
Supplementing this growth at transhipment hubs is the increased rationalisation of service networks by carriers replacing direct services to Africa; for instance, with a hub and spoke relay.
Drewry said: “In addition, 2013 saw Maersk Line, for example, linking the Mediterranean with the east coast of North America by relaying Med cargo onto its Middle East/ISC-east coast North America service.”
Nevertheless, unless there is no alternative direct connection, transhipment rarely improves transit times, and there is always the risk to shippers that something will go wrong in the relay, and/or cargo will be damaged by the extra handling.
It is the reason why many large shippers stipulate that their containers are not to be transhipped – albeit in practice many are not aware that a relay has taken place until something goes wrong.
Meanwhile, Drewry’s quarterly Carrier Performance Insight report on the schedule integrity of container liner shipping concludes that the on-time service from carriers is “becoming less and less reliable”, and warns that it is only going to get worse.
Drewry reports that containership reliability worsened in every quarter of 2013, with the Q4 decline dragging the on-time average below 64%; the lowest it has been for two years.
“The focus on reliability seems to have been lost in the current cost-cutting environment,” said Simon Heaney, Drewry’s senior manager of supply chain research, noting that the weaker performance in Q4 coincided with a raft of blanked voyages from Asia.
Indeed, the recent erosion of spot rates on the Asia to Europe tradelane, and the lack of success in implementing rate-restoring GRIs, are not unconnected according to Mr Heaney. He said: “Shippers know that lines are saving money [by skipping sailings etc] so they will be unwilling to accept further rate increases.”
But with many carriers once again expected to report a disappointing first quarter and facing the daunting prospect of another loss-making year, Mr Heaney sees an opportunity for them to move back into the black, based on the worsening levels of punctuality.
He said: “This could provide an opportunity for more reliable carriers to secure better rates.”

Trying to work a feeder or an old transhipment vessel on Berths 8 & 9 or the top end Trinity is to say the least " challenging ".

MATHS ACES TACKLE CONTAINER CONUNDRUM - Port Of Felixstowe


Mathematicians from the University of Essex have joined forces with the Port of Felixstowe to develop new ways of improving the complex process of handling millions of containers every year.
As the busiest container port in the UK, handling 42 per cent of all the UK’s container traffic, Felixstowe relies on complex planning and scheduling to cope with the demands of handling 3.7 million containers every year.
Now, via an innovative two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), maths experts at Essex are working with the Port to develop new improved solutions to some of the very complex planning and scheduling problems faced with handing goods worth an estimated £60 billion every year.


The KTP follows a successful collaborative project with the University involving maths student Jenny Adamson a couple of years ago, which looked into using mathematical methods to develop new improved solutions to some of the very complex operations problems the Port faced.
KTPs support UK businesses wanting to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge and expertise available within UK universities and colleges.
The new collaboration, led by head of mathematical sciences at Essex, Dr Abdel Salhi and PhD student Ali Rais Shaghaghi, involves using mathematical optimisation technology to come up with new methods to solve scheduling problems and, in particular, scheduling the labour force deployed daily at the Port.
“It is a challenging project because the problems are very complex from both the mathematical and the practical points of view,” explained Dr Salhi.
“Like any business, time is money and the Port needs to ensure it is making the best use of its resources. It is all about making efficiencies in everything from labour force requirements to scheduling in maintenance at the best time for the Port. Berths and the giant cranes are very expensive facilities that must be used as near their maximum potential as possible and not left idle.
“We will first look at what is available for use in terms of mathematical optimisation tools. But, we are prepared to come up with new approaches and develop new tools to handle the problems, if need be. The University of Essex has a lot of expertise in developing optimisation tools, both algorithms and software."



Stephen Abraham, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said: “Few people appreciate the sophistication of the processes, systems and equipment that we deploy at the port. We have a wide range of highly-qualified and skilled technical specialists working with the latest technologies; without these people we could not deliver the service our customers expect.
“We were encouraged by the level of interest from the University of Essex to work with us in developing innovative solutions, using some of the brightest academic minds. This work has led to further exploration of how we could engage with the University which resulted in the agreement to enter into a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership in the area of labour optimisation and planning.”
The Port of Felixstowe operates some highly complex logistic planning and scheduling processes across a large scale 24/7 operation, involving 34 giant ship-to-shore gantry cranes serving 3,000 ships which call every year – including the world's largest container ships which are ‎400m long and carry ‎18,000 containers.
Some of the problems the mathematicians are hoping to solve could have universal applications which could easily translate to other businesses.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

FPUA remains opposed to VBS charge at The Port Of Felixstowe



The Felixstowe Port Users’ Association (FPUA) is standing firm against the proposed Vehicle Booking System (VBS) charge issued by the Port of Felixstowe.


“The FPUA remains opposed to the introduction of this charge which it believes will prove detrimental to the reputation of the Port of Felixstowe and will add an unfair cost burden on the haulage community,” members were told in a letter from FPUA chairman Simon Fraser.
“It appears that the Port have chosen to ignore the lucid and intelligent arguments presented by the FPUA Council and local hauliers against the imposition of this vehicle access fee during ‘peak’ hours,” he continued.
The comments come in response to a letter from Hutchison Ports commercial director Paul Wallace addressed to Port of Felixstowe haulage operators explaining the reasons for the charge.
The Port of Felixstowe announced its intention to introduce the charge for VBS bookings in peak time hours in January 2014, which was followed by an open meeting at the Port on 14 January 2014.
The Port has postponed VBS charges for seven years. It originally raised and withdrew the introduction of peak time VBS charges in 2007, and again in 2011.
The original charge was to be £2 per booking from 1300-1800. This has now been reduced to £1.50.
Wallace added: “As we have explained, for all UK major ports there is a significant daily cost to support the yard resource needed to service haulage demand during these times.
“As such, we remain committed to the implementation of a nominal charge to cover peak hour VBS bookings.”
The charge stands at £1.50 per VBS booking between the peak hours of 1200-1700.
The charge for the morning peak hours of 0500-0700 was suspended as a “voluntary gesture”.



Going, going gone! Ship loses 520 containers after storage boxes washed overboard during fierce storm

  • Svendborg Maersk began losing containers off northern France after it was hit with 30ft waves and 60 knots winds on February 14
  • Company said of the 520 that have gone unaccounted for, 85 per cent of them were empty and the others held dry goods like frozen meat

Hurricane-force winds battered the Svendborg Maersk as it sailed around the Atlantic coast of Europe.
The Danish ship Svendborg began losing containers off northern France after it was hit with 30ft waves and 60 knots winds on February 14.
But it only discovered the extent of its loss after it arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week.
Amid waves of 30 feet and winds of 60 knots, the Svendborg began losing containers off northern France
Amid waves of 30 feet and winds of 60 knots, the Svendborg began losing containers off northern France
It only discovered the extent of its loss after it arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week
It only discovered the extent of its loss after it arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week
The company said of the 520 that have gone unaccounted for, 85 per cent of them were empty and the others held dry goods like frozen meat.
It stressed that none of the missing storage boxes contained dangerous goods.
Many of the containers that survived the storm collapsed and were left crushed.
Palle Laursen, vice president of operations for Maersk Line, said: 'The total number of lost containers turned out to be even worse than we feared.
'Svendborg Maersk experienced unexpected, extreme weather conditions – and we will now carefully examine our procedures to see if they need correction in order to avoid similar incidents in the future,' Sea Trade Global reported.
After the ship arrived in Malaga, Maersk discovered that about 520 containers were unaccounted for
The company said of the 520 that have gone unaccounted for, 85 per cent of them were empty
After the ship arrived in Malaga, Maersk discovered that about 520 containers were unaccounted for
The company said of the 520 that have gone unaccounted for, 85 per cent of them were empty
On Friday the French environmental group Robin des Bois said it would sue Maersk for failing to disclose the full extent of the loss when it occurred, putting the lives of others in danger, causing pollution and abandoning waste at sea.
The group claims the containers were a lasting danger to fishing vessels and the environment.
The revelations about the overboard containers came after a shipping container stuffed with a million cigarettes washed up on the Devon coast.
The 40-foot box - which contains 14 tonnes of cigarettes - which landed at Seaton, Devon, could be the first of many to wash up on the Lyme Bay coast in the coming days.
It said that 15 per cent of the containers lost held dry goods like frozen meat
It said that 15 per cent of the containers lost held dry goods like frozen meat
An environmental group claims the containers were a lasting danger to fishing vessels and the environment
An environmental group claims the containers were a lasting danger to fishing vessels and the environment
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is arranging recovery of the Maersk container which landed over the weekend.
Police officers who have cordoned off the beach issued a stern warning to anyone hoping to pick up any free loot.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: 'It was reported by a member of the public... and officers are on scene to make sure no one puts themselves at risk to recover anything.
A container, lost from a vessel in the Bay of Biscay, carrying thousands of cigarettes has washed up on the pebble beach of Seaton in Devon
A container, lost from a vessel in the Bay of Biscay, carrying thousands of cigarettes has washed up on the pebble beach of Seaton in Devon
The battered container which spilled its contents over a wide area has now been cordoned off by police
The battered container which spilled its contents over a wide area has now been cordoned off by police
'The contents belong initially to the original owner of the container, and then to the official Receiver of Wrecks, so anyone taking anything that washes ashore, even one packet of cigarettes, is effectively committing theft and will be prosecuted.
'So the message to anyone intending to go down there looking for free fags is don't bother.'
Meanwhile, a second container containing millions more cigarettes was recovered from the English Channel by coastguards.
The 40ft long Maersk crate was spotted floating in the sea seven miles south of Portland Bill, Dorset.
Coastguards tasked a local tug boat to the area and the crew managed to attach a line to it and pull it into Portland Port.
It is expected that more containers will wash up in coming days.
Recovery: A tug boat tows a heavy container into Portland, Dorset
Recovery: A tug boat tows a heavy container into Portland, Dorset
Saved: The cargo is expected to be reclaimed by Maersk
Saved: The cargo is expected to be reclaimed by Maersk

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Felixstowe/Harwich: Rescue teams search North Sea for two people believed to have fallen from passenger ferry


Rescue teams are currently searching for two people believed to have fallen from a passenger ferry as it departed Harwich Harbour.


Stephen Read, harbourmaster at Felixstowe Ferry, said the teams were currently searching two people who came off the Stena Britannica passenger ferry as it headed out to sea.
Mr Read, is part of a search party including, two lifeboats another two inshore lifeboats, a pilot cutter and a helicopter.
The search is currently being conducted about a mile off Cobbold’s Point at Felixstowe and heading out as far as the Cork Sands.
Walton and Frinton RNLI were called to join the rescue efforts led by Thames Coastguard at around 9.45am.
Stena Line is currently preparing a statement on the incident, as is Thames Coastguard.

http://www.shippingtv.co.uk/?p=1288






About Video

Uploaded on 26 February, 2014
Footage of the search and rescue operation off Felixstowe for two men who jumped off the morning Stena Line service to Hook of Holland. It is believed that these men were foreign nationals who had been refused entry in Harwich and who had been sent back to Holland on the ferry. The operation was stood down after the only trace of them was two leather jackets found in the sea.
We’ll put more news here if we find out what happened to them.

All Port Of Felixstowe Port Users




All Port Users

The Highways Agency have instructed the Port that they have closed  the A154 Trinity Avenue, Felixstowe, to make emergency repairs to a collapsed manhole cover in the carriageway.

The closure is on the slip road exit from the A14 joining the A154.  This is the primary access route to Dock Gate 2.  The closure is in immediate effect, and anticipated to last 48 hours whilst a full repair is carried out

A diversion route is in place diverting south (port) bound traffic via the Trinity estate on Blofield Road and Parker Avenue.

As the VBS late arrival tolerance is already set to 60 minutes, no additional time will be added to VBS slots.  All hauliers are advised to please plan their journey accordingly

For more questions regarding the emergency works, the primary contact will be the Suffolk Highways Control Hub 0333 222 5924

License to operate………..Automation In The Port World


Fredrik Johanson at ABB Crane Systems reminds us that crane operators in container terminals still need training even when intelligent automatic systems are handling a major part of the crane cycle

Once viewed as technologies of the future, crane automation and remote control are now proven technologies for container terminals and are appearing in more and more parts of the world. This evolution has changed, and continues to shape, the role of humans in the container handling process from ship to gate. Humans no longer continuously control processes; instead they monitor, handle exceptions and manage automated resources.
This shift has altered the training needs of crane operators in a modern container terminal where automatic functions control most of the crane cycle. Working with automated container handling systems demands new knowledge and attention skills. Therefore, an operator interacting with an automated system needs training on two levels. Firstly, an operator needs to be able to understand how the system works: what is the expected behaviour of the system and what are the available options? Secondly, an operator also needs practical hands-on training about how to operate using the system.



Once viewed as technologies of the future, crane automation and remote control are now proven technologies for container terminals and are appearing in more and more parts of the world. This evolution has changed, and continues to shape, the role of humans in the container handling process from ship to gate. Humans no longer continuously control processes; instead they monitor, handle exceptions and manage automated resources.
This shift has altered the training needs of crane operators in a modern container terminal where automatic functions control most of the crane cycle. Working with automated container handling systems demands new knowledge and attention skills. Therefore, an operator interacting with an automated system needs training on two levels. Firstly, an operator needs to be able to understand how the system works: what is the expected behaviour of the system and what are the available options? Secondly, an operator also needs practical hands-on training about how to operate using the system.



Manual mode 
With the crane cycle on the ship side not fully automated it is, in our experience, favourable to train quay crane operators to handle, to some extent, the crane in manual mode. Handling exceptions, such as damaged cell guides, is an essential part of the training and should be drilled. As a final step of the training program a test should be conducted to verify the learning results.
Training is an investment in competent staff and ensuring efficient operation of cranes in every situation. Training on handling the crane system should complement the terminal’s own training programs, such as those related to safety. 
In a well-known quote, a chief financial officer asks his chief executive: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” The chief executive answers by asking: What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
Automation makes handling containers easy but the need for training should not be forgotten. My question to you is: Are your crane operators trained to perform at their best with the automated system and under different operational conditions? Are they, in fact, ‘licensed’ to operate?
Fredrik Johanson is the general manager of marketing and sales at ABB Crane Systems. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Energy Engineering from Mälardalen University in Västerås, Sweden and an MBA in Project Management from Linköping University of Technology in Linköping, Sweden. Fredrik joined ABB in 1984 as a systems design engineer and has long and versatile experience on electrification and automation of cranes.





A Fish Out of Water ( broken up and recycled }





A 20 month time-lapse study of the RFA Grey Rover (A269) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, being broken up and recycled in Canada Docks in Liverpool, between October 2009 and May 2011. In Collaboration with The Waste Of The World anthropology project.



Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Port of Felixstowe to start charging for vehicle bookings


The Port of Felixstowe has alerted users that it is to introduce a vehicle booking charge from 10 March 2014.

The vehicle booking system (VBS) fee will affect peak afternoon hours, between 1200-1700, and stand at £1.50 per VBS booking.

VBS is a mandatory, web-based appointment system to be used by all hauliers wishing to collect and/or deliver containers at the Port of Felixstowe.


It is designed to reduce the effect of the ‘peaks and troughs’ of hauliers arriving at the port during certain hours of the day.

The charge will just affect hauliers, and is said to be “an indirect consequence of shipping lines not paying enough for service in the first place,” according to a haulier at the port.

The amount is a mitigated level than the port was proposing to charge, and will be limited to afternoon access only.

Commercial director, Hutchison Ports UK Ltd, Paul Wallace said: “We now believe it is the right time to raise this issue again and trust that the haulage community value the significant concession made previously, especially since other major UK ports have continued to charge for access, and through both morning and afternoon peak periods.”

Originally the port suggested charging £2 per booking from 1300-1800 peak hours. The morning peak hour charge was suspended as a “voluntary gesture”.

The port explained that there is a significant cost to increase the yard resource (RTG/Gates) to service daily demand during the peak haulage hours for all UK major ports.

The issue was raised several years ago but was not implemented; the poor economic climate was cited as a reason.


MacGregor to Deliver Lashing Bridges for Three Container Ships


MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured an order for lashing bridges for three 18,000 TEU container ships to be built at Waigaoqiao Shipyard in China. The contract includes the design and fabrication of the lashing bridge steel structure of approx. 5400 tons, and an option for three further vessels.


The new plate type three tier high lashing bridges are a combination of steel profile and plate construction and provide advantages in terms of weight, less welding and less surfaces subject to hidden corrosion. They also enable interchangeability and user-friendly positioning of lashing rods.
“This contract is based on strong technical co-operation with the ship owner and the shipyard over approximately a six month’s period”, says Petri Haukikari, Sales Manager at MacGregor Dry Cargo. “It is important to understand that the lashing bridge is a vital part of cargo system, and not just a hull component. By promoting such cargo system -based thinking we can provide several advantages for the shipyards and shipowners.
The main benefit for the shipyard is that we can reduce the costs and expensive changes during the manufacturing process of the newbuildings. The key benefit for the shipowners and operators is the higher cargo intake capacity and thereby better earnings throughout the lifetime of the vessel. We should not either neglect the fact that more efficient fleets also have an important role in reducing the emissions of transportation industry globally.”

Monday, 24 February 2014

40-Foot Container Full of Cigarettes Washes Ashore on UK Beach


maersk container ashore beach
Image: MCA
After the worst single incident involving a loss of containers from a Maersk Line vessel last week, one of those containers found itself washed up on a UK beach over the weekend.
The above container, apparently with a cargo of cigarettes inside, washed ashore yesterday near Axmouth, Devon.
The containership Svendborg Maersk lost 520 containers over the side during a storm in the Bay of Biscay on 14 February.
The U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency notes that most of the containers were empty and likely sunk, however on Friday, the MCA warned mariners to keep a sharp lookout for containers south of the UK and to report any sightings.
Simon Porter, MCA Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer, notes that 3 containers have been spotted following extensive aerial surveillance of the area, two of which are still floating in the shipping channels.  ”We are now working closely with Maersk to ensure they recover their containers, which are their property,” he notes.
As of 0900 GMT on Monday, the cigarettes have been removed and taken to a secure storage area according to the MCA.  The MCA also notes that one of the containers has now been taken under tow seven nautical miles southwest of Dorset.
The following video shows a container being towed to Cherbourg Naval Base on Saturday, 22 February.


Damen Tugboat Dance…………Shipping TV



Richard Krabbendam’s film of one of Rotterdam’s fleet of Kotug-operated Damen tugboats during the Networking sailing day of Maasmond Maritime on the 18th of June 2012:









Svendborg Maersk Latest photos / Update


(CNN) -- On any day, between 5 million and 6 million containers are on the high seas, carrying everything from potato chips to refrigerators. But not all of them make it to their destination, as the crew of the Svendborg Maersk have just found out.
Their Danish-flagged ship was in the Bay of Biscay last week as hurricane-force winds battered the Atlantic coast of Europe. Amid waves of 30 feet and winds of 60 knots, the Svendborg began losing containers off northern France. After the ship arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week, Maersk discovered that about 520 containers were unaccounted for. Stacks of others had collapsed.
It's the biggest recorded loss of containers overboard in a single incident.
As repairs are made to the Svendborg in Malaga, Palle Laursen, Maersk's vice president of operations, says the company is examining its procedures "to avoid similar incidents in the future." The company told CNN that the extreme weather had an unexpectedly forceful impact on the ship's movements. It said 85% of the lost containers were empty and others included such dry goods as frozen meat. None contained dangerous goods. Maersk is now contacting customers to tell them that their shipments are at the bottom of the ocean.



The Svendborg, which was on its way from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Colombo in Sri Lanka via the Suez Canal, warned French maritime authorities that vessels should look out for floating containers, but most sank quickly in the mountainous seas. Thirteen have now been recovered, according to French officials.
The French environmental group Robin des Bois said Friday it would sue Maersk for failing to disclose the full extent of the loss when it occurred, putting the lives of others in danger, causing pollution and abandoning waste at sea. The group claimed the containers were a lasting danger to fishing vessels and the environment.
Most containers won't float for long, especially in heavy seas. But one that is refrigerated may be buoyed by its insulation, and the use of polystyrene as packaging for goods also aids flotation. New Zealand marine insurer Vero Marine says a 20-foot container can float for up to two months, and a 40-foot container might float more than three times as long.



Cargo spills and shipping hazards
These rogue containers can pose a danger to shipping and pollute the environment. In 2006, thousands of bags of Doritos chips washed up on the beaches of North Carolina's Outer Banks -- much to the delight of local gulls -- after the container carrying them split apart in the Atlantic. More famously, in 1992, a container broke apart off the coast of Alaska, and 29,000 plastic ducks and frogs escaped. They've been washing up as far away as Scotland and Japan ever since.
There is no requirement on shipping lines to report container losses to the International Maritime Organization or other international body, so no one seems to know how many containers are lost at sea every year. In 2011, the World Shipping Council estimated thatincluding "catastrophic losses" such as the capsizing of a vessel, about 675 containers were lost at sea annually.



The Through Transport Club, which insures 15 of the top 20 container lines, has put the loss at fewer than 2,000 containers a year. But other industry sources say the number may be as high as 10,000. That would still represent far less than 1% of the containers traversing the world's oceans. Maersk, one of the world's largest lines, says that its highest annual loss in the last decade was 59 containers.
But the hazard is still real enough. In recent years, several small vessels have reported damage after hitting semi-submerged containers. During his solo voyage around the world, American sailor Paul Lutus wrote that "one night in the Indian Ocean, I hit a waterlogged shipping container that was too low in the water to show up on radar." His 31-foot boat was damaged but stayed afloat.



Container weight an issue
Shipping analysts say that one issue affecting the stability of container stacks is that the steel boxes -- 20 to 40 feet long -- are not accurately weighed. They say some shippers frequently understate the weight of their containers to reduce freight charges. Not knowing how much your cargo weighs can introduce all sorts of problems in terms of the stress a vessel must endure at sea.
Three years ago, a proposal was put to the International Maritime Organization for containers to be weighed before being loaded. But nothing has been agreed, and many shipping associations object to such a proposal as expensive and time-consuming.
Even so, one current investigation may focus more attention on the loading of containers. Last June, the 90,000-ton MOL Comfort literally snapped in half 200 miles off the coast of Yemen. The ship, built in Japan, was only 5 years old. Both sections of the Comfort, as well as 4,500 containers, went to the ocean floor. One factor being investigated is whether uneven loading of containers contributed to intolerable stresses on the hull.
It would not be the first such disaster. Seven years ago, the 62,000-ton MSC Napoli suffered catastrophic hull failure and ran aground off the English coast. A report by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Board concluded that inaccurate information about container weights could have been critical, given that cargo ships often sail close to their maximum permissible "bending moments," which measure the external stress on a vessel.



The investigation recommended that "if the stresses acting on container ships are to be accurately controlled, it is essential that containers are weighed before embarkation" and criticized the industry's "overriding desire" to maintain schedules and keep port time to a minimum.
The cost of salvage and cargo came to nearly $200 million.
An interim report into the sinking of the MOL Comfort by the Japanese Transport Ministry -- published in December -- also called for the weight of containers to be verified before loading to reduce uncertainty about ships' bending moments.
But a definitive answer to the Comfort's demise may never be known, as much of the evidence lies deep under the Indian Ocean's waves.

The U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency is warning mariners to keep a close watch for shipping containers floating in the English Channel after hundreds of boxes fell from the deck of a Maersk cargo ship last week. 






The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was informed that a number of containers were lost from a Maersk cargo ship as it crossed the northern stretches of the Bay of Biscay in stormy conditions on Friday 14 February.
Most of the containers were empty and are believed to have sunk approximately 75 nautical miles south west of Lands End in French waters. The MCA’s aerial surveillance aircraft has been searching UK waters, and ships passing through the English Channel have been warned and asked to report any sightings.
Simon Porter, MCA Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer, says: “We have been carrying out extensive searches over the last four days and spotted three containers, one of which has since come ashore and the other two are mid-Channel. We are now working closely with Maersk to ensure they recover their containers, which are their property.
“The Beer Coastguard Rescue Team, police and council officials are currently on scene at Axmouth beach and the container has been cordoned off.
“The public is reminded that all wreck material found in the UK has to be reported to the MCA’s Receiver of Wreck by completing a form on our website.
“Those who don’t declare items are breaking the law and could find themselves facing hefty fines and paying the owner twice the value of the item recovered.”