The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a warning to Hawaii mariners as a precautionary measure after hundreds of shipping containers reportedly fell into the ocean from a vessel hundreds of miles away from the islands after the ship encountered severe weather conditions while enroute to California from China.
The Ocean Network Express (ONE), a global shipping company, estimates the Japanese-flagged vessel One Apus, lost more than 1,900 containers when the ship encountered gale-force winds and large swells approximately 1,840 miles northwest of Hawaii Monday.
“The severe weather conditions caused the vessel to roll heavily resulting in a yet-to-be determined number of containers to dislodge and fall into the ocean,” the container shipping company said in a statement.
The vessel was enroute from Yantian, China to Long Beach, Calif. when sections of its load fell overboard.
Approximately 40 of the 1,900 or so containers are believed to be dangerous goods containers.
The shipping company reported today that ONE Apus is proceeding to a port in Kobe, Japan to assess any damage. The ship is expected to arrive in Japan Tuesday.
“The priority remains on getting the vessel and crew safely to port. Once berthed, it’s expected to take some time to offload the dislodged containers that remain on board. Then a thorough assessment will be made on the exact number and type of containers that have been lost or damaged,” the company said.
The Coast Guard issued a warning to mariners as a precautionary measure concerning any shipping container pollution, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Fisher, spokesman of the Coast Guard.
Chidori Ship Holding LLC is listed as the registered owner of ONE Apus.