260 containers lost in harsh weather off coast of Japan due to loss of propulsion.
The world’s largest container line, Maersk, says the loss of 260 containers from the Maersk Eindhoven off the coast of Japan on Wednesday, was due to a loss of propulsion arising from low engine-oil pressure. A further 65 containers are reported damaged on deck.
The company has suggested that a safety feature linked to the engine oil-pressure monitoring system caused the ship’s main engine to shut down. Preliminary reports indicate no major damage to the vessel, which is now en route back to Asia.
In an update to a previous press statement, Maersk said: “As previously reported, the Maersk Eindhoven experienced a loss of engine propulsion for 3-4 minutes while sailing 45 nautical miles off Northern Japan in heavy seas on 17 February 2021. The loss of manoeuvrability resulted in severe rolling with 260 containers overboard and 65 containers damaged on deck. Customers were advised immediately of vessel and cargo status.
“Propulsion power was quickly restored on the vessel and the initial analysis indicates engine oil pressure triggered a safety feature, causing the engines to shut down. No malfunction or maintenance issues have been identified. The crew is safe and a complete investigation is ongoing. The vessel has had no further incidents and is sailing in calm seas, returning to a North Asia port for inspection and repair. The port decision will be announced shortly.”
Maersk Eindhoven is a 13,000 TEU Danish-flagged container ship and the incident comes soon after another Maersk line ship, the Maersk Essen, also lost a large number of containers overboard in heavy seas on 16th January. A growing number of containers are being lost overboard on trans-pacific routes because of the pandemic-fuelled boom in containerised trade to and from Asia.