Salvage crew’s access to smouldering ship hampered by storm on B.C. coast

The Canadian Coast Guard says a fire aboard a container ship off the coast of Victoria continues to smoulder and that salvage crews are having issues accessing it.

The coast guard says in a statement posted on social media that a salvage crew from Resolve Marine is on the scene, but the wind storm that lashed Vancouver Island and the south coast has prevented anyone from boarding the ship.

At least 10 containers on the MV Zim Kingston caught fire on Friday, while another 40 fell into the water and efforts to pick them up are being hampered by the storm.

The coast guard says emergency responders continue “boundary cooling,” spraying water on the hull and on containers near the fire, although flames are considered under control.

Some of the containers that burned contained hazardous materials, however, the coast guard says there are no impacts to human health for residents of the Victoria area.

The Kingston, a Greek-based ship, had reported damage as it approached Vancouver and it anchored for repairs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca before reporting the fire to the coast guard.

With files from the Canadian Press.