THE HAGUE (AFP) - The owner of a ship that lost some 270 containers in the North Sea this week, pledged on Saturday (Jan 5) to pay "the full costs" for cleaning up debris littering the northern Dutch and German coastlines.
The Panama-registered MSC Zoe, one of the world's largest container ships, lost hundreds of containers late on Tuesday (Jan 1) while battling a storm near the Frisian Islands, an archipelago off the northern Dutch coast also known as the Wadden Islands.
Containers and debris, including plastic toys, polystyrene, shoes, and at least one bag with a dangerous powder identified by authorities as "organic peroxide", washed ashore, prompting Dutch authorities to call in the army to help with clean-up operations.
"The MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company would like to assure authorities and members of the public in the Netherlands and Germany that the company will pay the full costs of the clean-up, the Geneva-based MSC said.
The company added in a statement it was "committed to continue searching for the containers that fell overboard, until the last one is found."
Cleaning operations continued on Saturday with some 22 containers now having washed up on the Wadden Islands, the NOS public broadcaster said.
"But the exact number of containers that have gone missing is unknown and many of the containers suspected of having sunk to the ocean floor," it added.