A ship loses containers in North Sea storm



Europe, North Sea



Heading to Bremerhaven, Germany, container ship MSC Zoe has been caught in a heavy storm during the night of January 2nd  2019 , resulting in the lose of about 270 containers overboard.

Following this incident, CLS’ 24/7 team of analysts relied on the CLS Maritime Awareness System to investigate on vessel’s behavior and sea state before the incident.

Sentinel 1B image from January 2nd 2019 at 05:56 (UTC)

A ship echo corresponding to MSC ZOE while stopped is detected on this SAR image. No nearby ships are detected  and no containers at sea are detected on this image.


On January, 2nd 2019 at 00:35 (UTC), MSC Zoe changed suddenly its route while navigating in traffic separation scheme. Vessel reduced its speed from 9 Kt to 6 Kt, then heading again at 9Kt whereas vessel was crossing a forbidden area avoiding a wind farm.

During this change, vessel started to slow down (from 9Kt to 3Kt) then almost stopped from 03:00 (UTC) to 08:30 (UTC). After that, vessel set out slowly, with a 3 Kt speed then, once back in its route, got under way reaching 8 Kt speed.

According to the Dutch and German coastguards, MSC Zoe lost at least 270 containers including four holding potentially dangerous substances such as organic peroxide, a highly flammable substance used in making plastics.