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Dutch islands say shipping firm must pay for lost container clean-up

Officials on the Dutch Wadden Sea islands of Schiermonnikoog, Vlieland and Terschelling say they are holding the owners of a cargo ship which lost 277 containers during high seas responsible for the cost of the clean-up.

Vlieland mayor Tineke Schokker told a television talk show that she is confident shipping firm MSC will pay for the damage. The company has already sent insurance agents to the island to assess the extent of the clean-up operation, she said.

‘We have started cleaning up and we will get the shipping company to pay,’ Schiermonnikoog mayor Ineke van Gent told Radio 1 news.

On Friday a team of 100 soldiers are heading to the islands to help shift the tonnes of toys, packaging and other debris which has washed up on the beaches.

Hundreds of volunteers have also turned out to help with the clean-up operation on the island of Terschelling, where pieces of polystyrene and plastic bags litter the shore. The clean-up is being hampered by strong winds which is blowing the rubbish into the dunes, an island official told Nu.nl.

Shipping company MSC issued a statement on Wednesday saying it had appointed a salvage company to coordinate the retrieval of cargo and beach clean-up operations and is also deploying specialised ships equipped with sonar to search for missing cargo at sea.

‘MSC takes this incident very seriously, both in terms of the impact of such accidents on the natural environment and in terms of any damage to customers’ cargo,’ the company said.

On Friday the number of lost containers was confirmed at 277, of which 30 have been recovered. 16 Share Share Share Tweet Share
Source: DutchNews

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