A containership operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company MSC, has reportedly lost a number of containers while sailing between Port Elizabeth and Durban, South Africa, says the South African Maritime Safety Authority SAMSA.

As informed, a total of thirteen containers fell off the 9,411 TEU boxship MSC Chloe while the vessel was some 22 nautical miles off Durban in the evening hours of August 7. Additionally, another 25 CTUs have sustained damages.

“The vessel was on a voyage from Coega (Ngqurha port in Port Elizabeth) to Durban. Reportedly the vessel was drifting and awaiting berthing instructions when a huge swell struck and caused the vessel to roll about +/- 30 degrees on either side, thereby leading to the containers falling off their stacked position,” the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said in a report.

An alert has been issued to vessels sailing in the Indian Ocean east of South Africa to be on the lookout for cargo containers that fell off the ship.

“A navigational warning is being broadcasted by the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) Cape Town and transiting vessels in and around the area are requested to keep a sharp lookout and to report to MRCC Cape Town and Durban Port Control of any sighting,” SAMSA added.

Giving more details on the nature of cargo they contained when the incident occurred, SAMSA said: “MSC has confirmed the contents of the containers as general cargo ranging from cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, machinery shafts and agricultural supplies. No lost container contained any IMDG (dangerous) cargo or marine pollutants.”

SAMSA further said it verified that “declared IMDG containers (dangerous goods containers) as per vessel’s stowage plan were on board in their respective positions.”

An investigation into the incident has been launched after the 2016-built Post-Panamax vessel berthed at the port of Durban last week.