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Old 27-06-2008, 18:47   #1
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Shipping containers (navigation hazard)

Ships losing containers on the high sea's

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APL China
Pacific Ocean, (date unknown)
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Ital Florida
Indian Ocean, June 2007
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NYK Antares
North Sea, November 2007
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OOCL America
Pacific Ocean, 1998
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P&O Nedlloyd Barcelona
Pacific Ocean, June 2005
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Old 27-06-2008, 20:11   #2
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What happens to these goods? Do people salvage them? Also how many people here have actually hit or had a close call with an actual floating sea container?
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Old 27-06-2008, 20:41   #3
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Horrible site, but awesome pictures of all sort of shipping container, among other commercial shipping, disasters Cargo Law - Countryman & McDaniel - 25 Right,LAX
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Old 27-06-2008, 21:36   #4
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IIRC, there are over 10,000 containers lost each year. An acquaintance's son works for a big shipping company and came up that number. I haven't seen a container or heard of one washed ashore here in the Islands. Most of them probably sink but one's filled with tennis shoes or other light objects may have enough buoyant cargo to float. Also, refrigerated containers are as airtight as they can be made and could possibly float for a long time.

The only for sure sinking I'm aware of is a cruiser who, I believe, tried to swerve to miss the container and caught the corner of the container opening up the boat like a can opener. He had almost no time to get a few things together and step up to the life raft. He wrote a book about his survival experience. A w32 disappeared north of the Ilsands a couple of years ago. They boat was exceptionally well maintained and equipped. Both the life rafts deployed as well as the epirbs, some flotsam located but no trace of the husband and wife crew. A w32 hull is hell for stout and only something very solid would sink one so quickly that the crew wouldn't be able to get off. Boat sank well outside the shipping lanes so it's doubtful it was run down.

Anyway, there is a very real possibility that you might encounter a floating container though you'd have to be very very unlucky to run into one.
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Old 27-06-2008, 21:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenman View Post
What happens to these goods? Do people salvage them?
I don't know the answer for sure, but I think that it would depend on where the incident occurred (i.e. laws of territorial waters). I do seem to remember a couple years back of a ship running aground in the UK with containers washed ashore. I think in that case, the scavengers had to register their claims with the Crown, whether they could keep it, I don't know.

As for getting into one of these things on the high sea's, I certainly wouldn't try it . Chances are that very few float for too long (with exception to the refrigeration ones (as mentioned by "roverhi")).

If I saw one at the very last minute, I would probably try to hit it "head on" instead of turning.

FYI: I've read about currents in the North Pacific ocean which pick up the rubbish from the East China sea's & just keep going in a loop (circle). Have read about yachtie's encountering floating rubbish such as house hold refrigerators/freezers etc.
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Old 28-06-2008, 05:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
IIRC, there are over 10,000 containers lost each year. An acquaintance's son works for a big shipping company and came up that number...
... Anyway, there is a very real possibility that you might encounter a floating container though you'd have to be very very unlucky to run into one.
No one agency tracks how much cargo is lost at sea around the world each year.; but industry experts estimate that anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 containers fall off ships each year, less than 1% of the number of containers sent by sea annually.

Excerpted from:
Vero Marine - Containers overboard
“...
Despite widespread fears about the danger to both small and large vessels from lost boxes, the answer appears to be: negligible. The number of containers lost overboard is said to be a tiny percentage of those transported, and of those that do go adrift, most inevitably sink within a short time ...
... At any given time, between 5 million and 6 million boxes are in transit. The TT Club calculates that the total number lost over the side is probably less than 2,000 per year. This means that less than 0.005% of the containers shipped each year end afloat in the ocean ...”
Goto:
Vero Marine - Containers overboard

Excerpted from: Lost Sea Cargo: Beach Bounty or Junk?
“... Each year, manufacturers around the world ship more than 100 million containers—each the size of a semi-truck—across the seven seas ...
... Every year, more than 10,000 containers fall overboard and spill their cargo into the ocean ...”
Goto:
Lost Sea Cargo: Beach Bounty or Junk?

***

Most companies don't want to publicize when they've lost cargo at sea, but when their products come ashore, it makes the secret harder to keep. For one thing, there's a fear that environmentalists will target companies for the damage lost cargo could have on sea life. Curt Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer in Seattle who tracks ocean debris to study patterns of currents, said Nike, Lego and The First Years toy company have been upfront about cargo losses, helping him develop intricate maps of otherwise elusive currents.

Some things that have fallen off container ships and then washed ashore months and years later:

Sneakers 1992: Five containers of Nike sneakers fell off a ship heading from South Korea to Seattle, resulting in 80,000 floating shoes. They washed up on beaches all over the Pacific Northwest.

Toys 1992: A container fell off a ship crossing the Pacific, sending 28,800 floating toy ducks, frogs, turtles and beavers from a company called The First Years into the water. Many came ashore in Japan and Alaska, but some crossed the North Pole and were found in the North Atlantic. They are still being discovered by beachcombers today.

Hockey gear 1994: Cargo from two 20-foot-by-40-foot containers that fell overboard crossing the Pacific — about 34,000 hockey gloves, chest protectors and shinguards — washed up on the coastline between Oregon and Alaska.

Legos 1997: Nearly 5 million Lego pieces were lost in a container, one of 60 that fell off a ship near Land's End in the UK. Ironically, many of the pieces were sea-related, such as 418,000 diver flippers, 26,000 life preservers, 97,000 scuba tanks and 4,200 plastic octopuses.

More sneakers 2002: Three containers fell from a ship just off the Northern California coast, sending another 33,000 Nike sneakers into the soup. The sneakers weren't tied together, so beachcombers along the Pacific Northwest had to keep searching to find a matching pair. Cans of chow mein noodles also were found alongside the sneakers.
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Old 28-06-2008, 06:19   #7
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G'day Gord,

Thanks for the links.

I guess its going to be very rare to come across a floating container. I did find the following quite interesting:

Most dry cargo containers are steel boxes weighing between two tonnes and four tonnes, and are constructed to be weather-proof, rather than watertight. If empty they sink as a result of water ingress. If full, they may float for a while: air trapped in the cargo may hold a box on the surface until the cargo becomes waterlogged.

Containers are rarely watertight. Most have small openings and distortions. However, if 11 kg of seawater per hour entered a 20’ container, it would take some 57 days it to sink; and some 183 days for a 40’ container! These times may be considerably shortened by the in-water deterioration of seals, but this does indicate that floating containers can remain a hazard to shipping for some time.

In rough weather, boxes may be smashed up by the waves. With up to 20 tonnes of cargo moving inside, the containers soon tend to lose their structural integrity. Refrigerated boxes and tank containers create the greatest threat, because of their inherent buoyancy.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:07   #8
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Forward Seeking Sonar

I have heard that the latest forward seeking sonars are worth there weight in gold. Not just for coastal situations but ocean crossings. An alarm goes when something up to 50 metres away or further is sounded.
any one heard or have one of these to clarify.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:31   #9
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At 5 knots, a boat will travel 50 meters (164 Feet) in about 19.4 seconds.

I suppose that if you’re paying close attention, and have very quick reflexes, a 19 second warning might be useful.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:37   #10
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I have heard that the latest forward seeking sonars are worth there weight in gold. ......
Take a look at Interphase. They have display & black box units. You can also link up 2 units to expand from 90 degree to 180 degree forward vision. Most boats I've read of using these (apart from recreational fishing) tend to use them at a very slow speed when in shallow waters or around ice bergs (Alaska, Antarctic etc).

I don't know how good the return signal would be in rough water or fast speed.

Interphase: Manufacturer of Forward Looking Sonars, Navigational Chart Plotters, WAAS/GPS and Fish Finders
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Old 03-07-2008, 16:12   #11
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And, FWIW, there are now 53-foot long containers being shipped between the US and China.
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Old 03-07-2008, 16:18   #12
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Stick to steel hulls and don't worry about containers.
A few years back I heard about a container full of Nike sneakers that broke up off the Oregon coast scattering shoes from BC to Oregon. The radio talk shows were overwhelmed wit cals from people saying things like" I've three size 12 rights if anyone has a couple of size 8 lefts" etc.
Many people were able to stock up on several years worth of footwear.
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Old 03-07-2008, 16:24   #13
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Stick to steel hulls and don't worry about containers.
I agree, & make it thick steel & maybe have a water-tight bulkhead (or 2)

Quote:
Nike sneakers that broke up off the Oregon coast scattering shoes from BC to Oregon. The radio talk shows were overwhelmed wit cals from people saying things like" I've three size 12 rights if anyone has a couple of size 8 lefts" etc.
I'm not sure I'd want shoes that had been soaking in salt water for a while
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:30   #14
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I have heard that the latest forward seeking sonars are worth there weight in gold.
I haven't seen the very latest if there are very latest ones, but the original units like Interphase would never see a container on the surface. Maybe if the container was long ways down and just floating, but those forward looking sonars don't go close enough to the surface.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:55   #15
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I haven't seen the very latest if there are very latest ones, but the original units like Interphase would never see a container on the surface.
I've never played with an Interphase unit myself, so I don't know how good they are at the top of the surface. There's a pdf on their site & I grabbed a screen cap from that (you can see the bottom rising to the surface @ 300' away (left screen)). Obviously the pdf is marketing, I don't know what she's like in reality

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The Dashew's talk about there's here (although I think they use them more for the bergs in Alaska): SetSail.com - the serious cruising sailor's website
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