Another container disaster in same location as MSC Zoe?

In the “new shipping disaster” in the North Sea, dozens, possibly hundreds of containers would have been thrown overboard. That happened north of the Wadden Islands, the same location as were the disaster with the MSC Zoe took place.

The Deparment of Waterways and Public Works confirms in conversation with Broadcaster Friesland that the container loss concerns a ship that sailed in the German Bocht, the southeastern part of the North Sea bordered by the Dutch and German Wadden Islands, near Schiermonnikoog. Skipper Sander Meijer reports that “100 miles” - about 160 kilometers - containers are floating above Schiermonnikoog and also located four of them on the North Sea bed. Meijer writes that it is rumored that more than 200 containers have been thrown overboard. He speaks of “a new container disaster”. “We are in a wreck app with the entire fishing fleet. If someone gets stuck and has damage to the nets, we put the position in the app. A colleague from Urk said that he saw many large objects on the sonar and thought they were containers, ”Meijer told RTV Noord.

So far no ship has claimed the loss of these containers. May be the didn’t even notice yet…

On New Year’s Day 2019, the MSC Zoe, one of the largest container ships in the world, lost more than three hundred containers over the North Sea. The remains are still being found.

Container ship MUNICH MAERSK, IMO 9778806, dwt 190326, capacity 20568 TEU, built 2017, flag Denmark, manager MAERSK.

Some 200 container are believed to be lost by container ship north of Schiermonnikoog island, Wadden Islands, North sea. Containers were first spotted by Dutch fishermen, later Dutch CG Command confirmed fishermen report. Containers are believed to be lost by Ultra Large Container Vessel MUNICH MAERSK on Dec 2, some 90 nm north of Schiermonnikoog island. Ship’s track backs the suspicion – the ship left Bremerhaven in the afternoon Dec 2, bound for Gothenburg Sweden, gathered way to her cruising speed, but several hours later reduced speed to full stop or dead ahead, and kept limping in northern direction until afternoon Dec 3, when she resumed voyage, but at a reduced speed.


The ship docked at Gothenburg on Dec 5, left on Dec 8, bound for Aarhus Denmark, ETA Dec 9.
The report isn’t yet officially confirmed, with regards to ship’s ID and number of lost containers.

Giant container ships are too dangerous in at least two aspects – enormous momentum created by rolling and pitching in rough weather smashes and breaks all lashings and locks, there’s no technology to hold on against such force; in case of major fire effective targeted firefighting is impossible.

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The question is how they managed to loose so many containers with 14 knots southerly winds and 1 meter swell!? Quite an accomplishment I must say…

So the question is are we seeing the beginning of the end for mega sized container ships? Much like the tanker boom of the 70’s that saw the building of tankers so big they lost their usefulness? Is something like 14000 TEU the sweet spot for economy of scale and safety?

Insurers are going to have to put their foot down at some point.


That is the best solution, they have the power to push the right buttons. No use waiting for IMO to step in, after that 10 - 20 commissions have looked at the problem we are years and years further in time.

Full agree with the points made so far. If the number of just one of those containers can be read the ship, it’s stow and the port of loading can easily be established.