On his journey from Antwerp to Bremerhaven, the ship “MSC Zoe had lost” in January, at least several Hundred containers in the stormy North sea. Including two containers with dangerous goods. Tons of washed up the beaches of the North sea Islands off the Netherlands and Germany. Also, millions of plastic particles. But what does this mean for the environment? How could this happen to a accident of such magnitude? And what the company says? Stock.

The wreck

In the night of the 2. January lost the “MSC Zoe”, the Swiss shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company in case of an accident on the way from Portugal’s Sines to Bremerhaven in the stormy North sea, at least 345 of the Container. Most of them were fallen and lying in the Dutch Wadden sea Islands, about 20 were located in Borkum. About 20 were on the coasts of been washed up. Two containers with dangerous goods are still missing.


The “MSC Zoe” lost in the night of the 2. January 2019, more than 300 Container

©kustwacht.nl The dangerous goods

In a were 467 cardboard boxes with Lithium-ion batteries, for a total of approximately 1.5 tons. The other Container contained 280 cardboard boxes with the product Perkadox, to a mixture of 50% Dibenzoyl peroxide and 50% plasticizer (DICYCLOHEXYL phthalate) , packaged in sacks of 25 kilograms. In addition, a further Container has been damaged with dangerous goods. He had a round loaded to 22.5 tons of plastic beads (polystyrene) of about 0.5 mm diameter, Packed in 30 sacks á a cubic meter. How much is landed by the on-Board hanging Container in the water, is unclear.

In the past few months have been rinsed several bags with a white powder on the Dutch Wadden sea island of Schiermonnikoog. Also in Borkum bags of the wrecked freighter had been washed up. However, empty. Thus, it is clear that at least a part of the dangerous cargo on the sea floor has spread. Dibenzoyl peroxide is a white powder with a faint odor. It is used as an active ingredient in dermatology and in plastic production. In the dry state and at high heat, it can explode in extreme cases. In high concentration it can cause irritation to the respiratory tract and can be for plants and animals, even fatal.

The plastic-Problem

not only are the chemicals a large Problem. In addition to the bags also television devices, protection plates, plastic flowers, war toys, plastic helmets, plastic guns , plastic protective vests, shoes, brush, light bulbs, and various other things were washed up on the beaches of Borkum Schiermonnikoog, Ameland, Terschelling and Vlieland.In addition, each lot of plastic resin.

The amount of plastic and packaging waste environmentalists is a concern. Manfred Santen, chemistry expert at Greenpeace, explained to the star: “It is to be feared that the Dutch and German Wadden sea must expect a micro-plastic advent of a greater scale.” Together with his Team, he has helped for two weeks, to clean the beaches. In time, a variety of plastic products was found. “The stranded Material represents only a fraction of what is plastic in the North sea. The majority of plastic products are ground in the short or long by ultraviolet radiation, sea water and mechanical stress by Wind and waves for smaller and smaller particles, up to the Dimension of micro-plastic. These small particles or particles can be mistaken by marine animals and seabirds with food and absorbed and result in severe damage. The extent cannot be assessed yet.”


The Dutch army cleans up on the beach of Schiermonnikoog, after the cargo ship “MSC Zoe” had stranded lost a part of its Container cargo

©Ministerie van Defensie DPA

Meanwhile, estimated there were about 24 million plastic particles alone in the area of the Groningen Wadden coast and the offshore Islands. The report of Dutch scientists from the University of Groningen. The University began soon after the accident, a search action, the volunteers sightings of plastic waste on an App that could report. Since then, more than 300 notices were received. The highest concentration was found on the popular with vacationers, the island of Schiermonnikoog. Here they found about 268 grains per square meter. On the coast of Groningen there were 253 grains per square meter.

possible causes

But how could it come to this? The “MSC Zoe”, the Swiss shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company, with more than 394 feet in length is one of the largest container ships in the world. You can load more than about 19,000 standard containers. In the eight rows of the containers were stacked on top of the “MSC Zoe” on this Tour, one above the other. According to the Central command for Maritime emergencies, the crew had carried out twice a strong movement of the ship, as well as noise. Whether or not Ground or in a concatenation of circumstances, were the cause of the accident, to clarify the Dutch and German ship accident, authorities and the public Prosecutor’s office. It would also be possible, that the containers were not secured sufficiently.


plastic-flotsam and Jetsam: On the island of Borkum war toys washed up

©Berend secure Baalmann DPA

As a load, controls an international jam rule. The Container spaces on Board in the ship’s interior, the so-called cargo, and Deck stowed. In the cargo area, you will be guided in so-called cell guides and are thus secured against slipping or falling over. Further layers are interconnected vertically via the so-called twist Locks (connectors) on all four corners of the Container and connected to the Deck secured (lashed). When tie downs are used for lashing bars or chains, which are attached in the corners of the Container Front and back and with the help of the clamping screws are secured to the Deck.

“MSC Zoe”

Giant cargo ship loses 270 Container – some are dangerous, Finder


offers nevertheless, For some dangerous goods, certain minimum clearances must be adhered to. “Some dangerous goods, such as, for example, self-reactive or organic Peroxides, chemicals that are needed in the industry for color – and adhesive production, in General, on Deck and in conscience at least to the other substances be stored”, says Hans-Jörg Nafzger, Scientific head of ship navigation simulator of the Jade University in Wilhelmshaven. Seassschadstoffe, i.e. materials which are for the sea dangerous for the environment, such as, for example, mineral oils, do not have to be stowed under Deck in the cargo area or in a protected location on the Deck, not in the outer rows, so that the containers move in a sinking into the sea. “In extreme cases, the containers may not even be on the same ship, for example if the substances might react with each other,” said Nafzger. That the cargo is properly secured, the captain is responsible.


A Container for the “MSC Zoe” is driving after the accident in the North sea,


But also the so-called rollers might be the cause of the accident. In this case, the ship is rocking, if it is running across the waves, uncontrolled and vibrate. The resulting voltages can be transmitted to the Container and ensure that the Lashings tear. The captain barely has time to react, for example in the Form of a change of course.

is cleared Until the cause of the wreck of the “MSC Zoe”, it will take some time. “Sometimes it can pass from the time of the accident until the final examination result of one to two years”, explains Lutz Dreyer of the Central Agency for dangerous goods monitoring of the water police in Hamburg, the star. In the case studies, certain factors are taken into account: How is the stability condition of the ship? Maneuvers dangers have provoked the movement? How were the change of course? What went on in the outer Harbor? Was secured the load properly? How is the lashing material? Reviewers examine the fractional, corporate, Tensile tests with the lashing rods to check the production.

The call for trackers

However, the call for Trackers in container shipping is getting louder and louder. Although they are used according to Dreyer more and more often nowadays than in the past, “but you must always ask himself whether this is really useful. Depending on how these channels are installed, you have a certain amount of risk, for example, if they contain Lithium-ion batteries, which can ignite under certain circumstances.” Thus, such a transmitter ignited in the port of Hamburg a few years ago: He was attached to a Container in which printing paper for Bank notes was promoted. The fortunes of the fire was extinguished quickly.

of lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have already drawn the consequences and appeal to the Federal government to tighten the regulations for the Transport of dangerous goods on large container ships. A corresponding resolution was on the 15th. February 2019, the Federal Council presented.

the company

And what the company says? The company keeps up with information about the accident concerning pretty much covered. Instead of concrete answers, it refers several times to the Dutch authorities. On the question of how many plastic beads are landed from the broken Container in the sea, is it only the “MSC Zoe” had a “wide range of cargo on Board, including some consumer goods”. To salvage “the cargo at sea and on the coast, was quickly initiated a purge,” said a spokesperson to the star. Also on demand, what measures will you take to avoid such accidents in the future, it is formulated in General terms: “The shipping industry continues to work to minimize such accidents, and MSC is a number of working groups of the industry on this issue.”

sources: University of Groningen, the Federal Council of development application