Recently Hapag-Lloyd’s container ship Bremen Express was forced to stop while eastbound in the Atlantic for undisclosed emergency repairs. While these were being carried out, the ship started rolling, and a number of containers were lost overboard. At the time the vessel was some 1,400 nautical miles off the west coast of Europe. Hapag-Lloyd stated the vessel was not in any danger at the time, and it later continued its journey. It will be inspected once it arrives in the Mediterranean before being allowed to enter the Suez Canal as it heads for Asia. The authorities are said to be conducting an investigation into the incident.
In an unrelated incident but highlighting the dangers of lost containers, a French sailor, Thomas Ruyant, taking part in the Vendée Round the World yacht race, had to make a distress call. His boat had collided with a floating shipping container while a few hundred miles south of New Zealand. The captain of the yacht reported that his vessel was in danger of splitting in two, after hitting the container while travelling at about 17 knots. Later reports stated that the New Zealand Coast Guard had delivered a pump to the yacht, and the skipper was hoping to make port.
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