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Svendborg Maersk container washes up on English beach

Svendborg Maersk container washes up on English beach
One of the 520 containers that fell from the Svendborg Maersk on 14 February in the Bay of Biscay has washed up on the English south coast.

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said that while most of the containers which fell from the vessel are believed have sunk around 75 nm from Lands End in French waters, some have been spotted in the English Channel, and one container washed up on Axmouth beach. According to local news reports the container had cargo of 14 tonnes of cigarettes. On Monday morning MCA said all the cigarettes had been removed and taken to a secure area.

MCA's aerial surveillance aircraft have been searching UK waters, and passing ships have been warned

"We have been carrying out extensive searches over the last four days and spotted three containers, one of which has since come ashore and the other two are mid-Channel. We are now working closely with Maersk to ensure they recover their containers, which are their property, said Simon Porter, MCA counter pollution and salvage officer.

Containers have also been sighted floating in the sea off Cherbourg, France, click here to view video.

The 8,160 teu Svendborg Maersk lost about 520 containers overboard in heavy weather on the 14 February in the Bay of Biscay. According to Maersk 85% of the containers lost overboard were empty.