Second Spilled Shipping Container Found At Mori Point In Pacifica

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A second container thought to have fallen off a ship during stormy weather on Friday just outside the Golden Gate has washed ashore in Pacifica, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Monday afternoon.

The container was reported at a relatively inaccessible location on Mori Point at the southern end of Pacifica, police Capt. Joe Spanheimer said.

Coast Guard Lt. Jake Urrutia said the sighting has been confirmed Monday by a Coast Guard auxiliary member following multiple reports from the public on Sunday. The Coast Guard has notified the Oakland-based shipping firm Matson Navigation Co., which will be responsible for the cleanup.

The 40-foot container is one of 12 that fell off the Seattle-bound container ship Manoa late Friday, according to the Coast Guard.

A second container carrying a large number of plastic trays that had held loaves of bread and other packaging materials also washed ashore at San Francisco’s Baker Beach on Saturday.

Matson has hired Parker Diving Service to remove the large container at Baker Beach and other debris, Coast Guard officials said.

Matson spokesman Keoni Wagner said the Manoa had departed Oakland en route to Seattle and was just outside San Francisco Bay around 10:30 p.m. when the accident occurred.

The ship was making a maneuver to allow a San Francisco Bay pilot to disembark when it was hit broadside by a large wave, Wagner said. The wave knocked the dozen mostly empty containers over the side.

“I’m told it was a stormy night out there, high seas and high winds, and so that added to the situation,” Wagner said.Wagner described the loss of shipping containers as relatively uncommon and said the company is still investigating exactly how it happened.

The majority of the containers are thought to have sunk, he said.

Cleanup crews were out at Baker Beach today working to remove the container there, as well as plastic trays and styrofoam debris, National Park Service spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman said.

Freeman said the large container had broken up on the rocks into large pieces and work crews were working to retrieve the pieces.

The beach’s parking area was closed to accommodate the work crews but beachgoers were still being allowed to walk on the beach as long as they stayed out of the way, Freeman said.

There were no hazardous materials in the container or packing crates, but Coast Guard officials are warning people on the water in the area to be on the lookout for debris.

The removal of the shipping container should be completed Monday, but more debris could wash up over the course of the next few days, making the cleanup an ongoing effort, Freeman said.

Anyone who finds a container on the beach is asked to be cautious and call the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco command center at (415) 399-7300.

© Copyright 2015 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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