MS Mediterraneo: North Pacific container ship moves around after US incident

By Sarah Robson, BBC News, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Mr Dumoulin had been aboard the ship when it became caught in high winds and currents

The container ship that began drifting northwards off Alaska after a loss of containers to strong waves in June moved to a new port in Canada as it made its way around the north Pacific Ocean.

The containers apparently weighed down the MS Mediterraneo and it began to list. It stopped for safety after taking on water, then continued on its journey, leaving two crew members missing.

They were presumed dead. The rest of the crew are safe.

The ship is berthed at Vancouver and was driven around the north Pacific Ocean.

Captain Claudio Peschi, the top official for the Royal Canadian Pacific Fisheries at the port of Nanaimo, said that the containers the ship carried were supposed to be removed from the ship and disposed of in an out of port facility after it was out of water, meaning they were empty.

Mr Peschi said that it appeared that the containers were stacked along the way so they would weigh down the ship and make it list, which would accelerate its drift.

At one point the ship was drifting more than 2,500km (1,500 miles) north.

Fortunately the weather for the drive around the north Pacific was much calmer than the day the ship lost the containers.

The Freighter Marathassa diverted to act as a “float on board” vessel in the event that the MS Mediterraneo got stuck in a strong current.

But Mr Peschi said that the door to the Marathassa had to be opened to allow the MS Mediterraneo to become stuck in its current.

This is because the MS Mediterraneo could not continue its journey unless it got in lock step with the Marathassa, so to prevent a collision the door had to be opened.

The MS Mediterraneo departed Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska on 8 June for the Asia Pacific. It listed on 15 June at 17 degrees 24 seconds and at 17 degrees 08 seconds and then, at 18 degrees 21 seconds its port side broke off and the ship listed 15 degrees.

The two crew members were missing after that, and were presumed dead until the sight of the photo above emerged.

Photo credit: The Coast Guard

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