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Coast Guard Warns Of Shipping Hazard From Containers Lost At Sea

a tall stack of shipping containers
Todd Lappin
Flickr - Creative Commons,
Seventy shipping containers fell from a cargo ship 17 miles off Oregon Inlet Saturday night. Officials say only a few have been found so far.

The Coast Guard is asking boaters and beachgoers to be on the lookout for loose shipping containers after 70 containers fell from a cargo ship Saturday and only a few have been found, according to Petty Officer Third Class Ronald Hodges.“If you see anything that resembles a container, you see anything wash ashore, make sure you call the Coast Guard immediately,” Hodge said. “It's important because containers can cause very severe structural damage to a boat. That's our primary concern.”

Hodges said boaters should be careful navigating the area off Oregon Inlet.

The containers fell from a cargo ship 17 miles off Oregon Inlet Saturday night. The containers can pose a hazard to boats, especially if they become lodged in shallow areas.

Hodges said one of the containers dislodged this weekend carried sulphuric acid, which he said is diluted in salt water and does not pose an environmental hazard.

Superintendent David Hallac said odd debris – including unexploded ordnance and hazardous waste – have worked their way ashore over the years.

“If you look at some old news stories, you'll see that there have been cargo containers, the contents of which have washed up on the beaches in the past, including I think packages of Doritos,” Hallac said. “You never know what's going to wash up on the beaches here.”

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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