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Old 30-10-2013, 09:08   #1
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Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea

Some NW european press is reporting that the container vessel Maersk Salina lost 45! containers in the storm on the Gulf of Biscay the last few days.

Maersk is confirming the loss of containers but does not give a number:
Maersk Salina update

The current in this golf makes a big south going U-turn in this bay so I suppose or they will end up on the north coast of spain or drift out into the atlantic?
Let's hope none of the mini-transat boats hit one as they are all in the middle of Biscay right now.
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:36   #2
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

Wow- if they admit to 45 you wonder how many they really did loose.
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:45   #3
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

Arn't these things designed to sink?????
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:47   #4
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

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Arn't these things designed to sink?????
Yes, they have (I believe) dissolving plugs. But when the contents are 50% styrofoam packing material, the container is going to float regardless.
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:48   #5
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

Never heard that. I have seen one floating in the Bay of Biscay at the start of the 2007/8 Vendee Globe. I wasn't there in person but they filmed it from a press helicopter covering the race start.
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:50   #6
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

I have read some blogs about converting containers into housing and there was never a mention of "dissolving plugs". Could be though but do you have a source?

As these things are subjected to all sorts of weather it would be difficult to design a dissolving plug that would be fail safe.
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Old 30-10-2013, 11:03   #7
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

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Yes, they have (I believe) dissolving plugs. But when the contents are 50% styrofoam packing material, the container is going to float regardless.
These containers are pretty darned heavy though.

What a nightmare! You would think that Maersk will attempt to salvage them. If they are floating, then it should be possible to spot some of them, wouldn't it?

Or, maybe this is a publicity stunt to promote Robert Redford's new movie, All is Lost where he attempts to survive after his boat hits a shipping container ...
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Old 30-10-2013, 12:28   #8
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They had hurricane force winds so loss of cargo is surely not a conspiracy. Most containers do not have dissolving plugs. Neither are they water tight in general. Some refrigerated units are close to water tight and may float. But most containers sink or float based on the density of their contents. There is no way to ensure that they always will either sink or float.
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Old 30-10-2013, 12:33   #9
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

I would think that most are, for all intents and purposes, water tight. You can install humidity monitors in them to protect the cargo. If they weren't water tight I would think that heavy driving rain at sea, on rail cars or on truck trailers would allow water entrance.
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Old 30-10-2013, 13:21   #10
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

Re. dissolving plugs, I read about it somewhere. Perhaps it was just a suggestion. I did a quick search and found a patent for container-scuttling dissolving and/or pressure-sensitive plugs, but I honestly don't know if they are used.
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Old 30-10-2013, 13:24   #11
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

We have watched several of them float over reefs and wash up onto islands, as well as have been inside them. They are pretty watertight and not very heavy (relatively).

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Old 30-10-2013, 13:43   #12
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

Early Xmas presents for lucky divers! I always look at the bright side!

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Old 30-10-2013, 13:58   #13
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

I'm surprised no one has created a salvage business. There may be money in cleaning these things up.
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Old 30-10-2013, 14:12   #14
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Re: Maersk ship loses 45 containers at sea.

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Wow- if they admit to 45 you wonder how many they really did loose.
They didn't actually know how many were missing so had someone do a fly past to have a look. If they float should arrive in N Spain just in time for Xmas.

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Old 30-10-2013, 15:09   #15
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Dissolving plug?! I have been in on and around several containers. None had this plug, and none are watertight. They will sink unless filled with bouyant cargo or are bulk chemical containers or reefer units. The bulk chem containers will usually float, type and volume of cargo dependent. Same with reefer containers.
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