Contractors begin cleanup of lost container ship debris on Vancouver Island
The Canadian Coast Guard says that contractors working for the owner of the container ship that lost cargo and caught fire off B.C.'s coast last month have begun retrieving objects that washed along Vancouver Island.
The coast guard says contractors began their work on Friday, first starting with debris from containers that washed ashore on Cape Palmerston on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
"By Sunday afternoon, a total of 71 refrigerators, 81 bags of Styrofoam, 19 bags of garbage, and 11 helicopter bags of garbage were flown off of Cape Palmerston beach and into metal bins in a nearby parking lot," reads an update from the coast guard Monday.
"All large debris is now off the Palmerston area beaches," said the organization.
Contractors will continue to clean areas of Cape Scott Provincial Park this week, weather permitting.
Several organizations, including the coast guard and First Nations, continue to search for more lost containers and debris.
"To date, only four shipping containers have been found on the beach," said the coast guard. "Plans are underway for the removal of all four containers via helicopter when a weather window permits."
Anyone who spots a container is asked to call the Canadian Coast Guard at 1-800-889-8852. Most containers are expected to be floating off the west and north coasts of Vancouver Island.
THE ZIM KINGSTON
The fire aboard the Zim Kingston was put out last week, though efforts to stabilize remaining cargo are still underway, according to the coast guard.
Transport Canada is now reviewing an inspection of the container ship. Eventually, Transport Canada will also help to determine where the vessel will be moved to.
"Representatives from Transport Canada are actively working with the Incident Command Post to review plans related to the eventual movement of the vessel from its current location in Constance Bank to an appropriate yet-to-be-determined berth or anchorage," said the coast guard.
Water samples have also been taken in a water column around the ship to see if the fire led to any contamination. The results of the water samples are expected later this week.