VIDEO: Fire breaks out in containers on Zim box ship off Victoria, B.C.

Written by Nick Blenkey
smoldering containers

USCH gelicopter captured this imager of smoke coming rom containers on Zim Kingston

The Canadian Coast Guard reported Sunday night that a fire that broke out in 10 containers aboard the containership Zim Kingston near Victoria, B.C., had been stabilized and that emergency tow vessels, tugs and Canadian Coast Guard vessels were monitoring the ship overnight to ensure the five crew members on the ship are safe, and that the ship remains secured. Plans were that, depending on weather, hazardous materials firefighters would board the ship to fight any remaining fires and ensure the fire is out.

Earlier CCGS Cape Calvert and CCGS Cape Naden had evacuated 16 people from the vessel.

The incident began with a report that the vessel had lost containers overboard. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received notification from Prince Rupert Marine Communication and Traffic Services at 12:49 a.m. Friday that the Zim Kingston reported losing approximately 40 containers overboard when it heeled 35 degrees in heavy swells 38 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The lost containers were initially reported to be general containers with no dangerous cargo. At 2.00 p.m , however, Sector Puget Sound reported that the Canadian Coast Guard received a preliminary report from the master of the Zim Kingston reporting that two containers overboard contained hazardous material.

Zim Kingston moored 5 miles from Victoria and, at approximately 11:11 a.m, Saturday, Rescue Coordination Center Victoria reported that the ship had two containers on fire. Sector Puget Sound and RCC Victoria arranged an overflight to monitor the area. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles was directed to do the overflight and captured imagery.

Both the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard continue to broadcast warnings as the containers in the water pose a significant risk to mariners.

Transport Canada has issued a notice restricting all aircraft. including drones, from flying within 2 nautical miles or below 2,000 feet of the vessel fire.

“The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor the situation, engaging with our Canadian and tribal partners to respond and support as requested while this incident continues to develop,” said Capt. Daniel Broadhurst, chief of incident management for the 13th Coast Guard District.

An incident command post led by the Canadian Coast Guard on behalf of the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and First Nations representatives has been established to manage and coordinate this multi-agency response.

In a statement on its Facebook page, vessel operator Zim Integrated Shipping Services said:

“We would like to give an update regarding the incident that occurred on the M/V ZIM Kingston, en route from Pusan to Vancouver.

“Due to heavy weather conditions, containers fell overboard, causing a fire to erupt.

“To handle this incident, we are working closely with the vessel’s owners, Canadian authorities, and other relevant agencies.

“All crew members were reported safe, which was our main concern, as well as the prevention of environmental impact.”


On Monday, the Canadian Coast Guard reported that the Zim Kingston remained stable overnight. A salvage crew from Resolve Marine was on scene but due to the current weather, had been unable to board the container ship.

Meantime, the current storm is impacting the owner of the Zim Kingston’s ability to recover the containers lost overboard from the vessel, but the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards continue to track and monitor them

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