Felixstowe: Quick action prevents pollution after container dropped in harbour

CONTAINER overboard!

An emergency rescue operation swung into action after a China Shipping container was dropped by a quayside crane unloading a vessel at Britain’s top box-port.

The accident happened around 9am yesterday as the 366-metre long COSCO Faith was being unloaded at the new berths 8 and 9, the new deepwater quay extension at the Port of Felixstowe.

Shipwatchers at the John Bradfield Port Viewing Area at the end of Viewpoint Road saw the drama happen.

One man said: “Suddenly there was a container in the harbour water, just bobbing about but looking as if it was going to sink very fast. It’s not something you see every day.

“You often hear a box dropped and there can often be a loud clang in the container parks, but they never lose them in the water.”

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for port owners Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, said the container had been recovered within 30 minutes.

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It had been a box of clothing being imported.

“The important thing is that no-one was injured and there was no pollution, and the box was recovered very quickly,” he said.

Researchers reckon that 10,000 containers are lost overboard every year around the world – but not in port, most are lost during stormy weather on the high seas.

With five to six million containers being transported on cargo ships at any one time, the loss of thousands is only a drop in the ocean.