The barge Atlantic Trader seen with its cargo toppled "like a bunch of dominoes." U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The barge Atlantic Trader seen with its cargo toppled “like a bunch of dominoes.” U.S. Coast Guard Photo

MIAMI —  The Coast Guard this week is responding to a report of 22 containers lost overboard from a TransAtlantic-operated barge about 18 miles east of Key Biscayne, Florida.

The Coast Guard says that at approximately 1 p.m. Monday, Coast Guard Sector Miami received notification from the Tug Spence that 22 containers had been lost from the Atlantic Trader, a 91-foot barge, while on a voyage from Jacksonville, Florida to the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Five of the containers lost are believed to have contained hazardous materials.

Some of the containers were initially observed by an overflight to be floating around the tug while others were still hanging over the side, toppled “like a bunch of dominoes.”

The USCG says that the tug and barge were piloted in by three tug boats and moored in Port Everglades at approximately 10:15 p.m, Monday. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard Cutter Gannet was diverted to the scene along with crewmembers from a commercial salvage company who marked the containers with strobe lights to prevent a hazard to navigation.

“Over the last two days the Coast Guard has been gathering information from the shipper TransAtlantic and working with Port Everglades, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Broward County Fire and Rescue, Port Everglades Pilots, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection to assess the condition and contents of containers on the barge Atlantic Trader and those in the water to take best actions to mitigate potential threats to safe navigation, the marine environment, and responders involved in the salvage effort,” said Capt. David G. McClellan, chief of prevention for Coast Guard Sector Miami.

As the Miami Herald points out, the Atlantic Trader barge is contracted by the U.S. Navy and regularly used to transport supplies to the base in Guantanamo Bay.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

More Photos:

"Looks like they just sort of fell over." U.S. Coast Guard Photo

“Looks like they just sort of fell over. Like dominoes.” U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

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    • Bill

      Should be 91 metres, not feet.

    • Endrick

      Finally – this discussion was getting silly. The first pic clearly showed 40 footers or 45’s, hard to tell the difference from a picture.
      The original mistake was in the CG press release; there was a mention of ”91 ft”. Could be in meters, and LOA, since 5 stacks x 40 would be 200 ft; plus the castle and fore-deck it might come to about that. 91 m = 298.5 ft. Could not be width, since the six stacks come only to 48 ft wide.

    • Endrick

      yes, but only used when speaking of capacity (by way of equalizing) – so no bearing on the discussion.

  • Brendan Lally

    That barge may be 91 feet wide.
    You guys need to do a better job of fact checking, or are you just publishing articles written by others?

  • Bob Leslie

    Brendan, you surely know containers are about eight feet wide, can’t you just look at the pic and see for yourself the containers are only twenty feet long?

    • Brian Jones

      Shipping containers come in multiple sizes and are 8.5 feet wide so they aren’t considered overwide for road use… http://www.shippingcontainers24.com/dimensions/

      Those (to my eye) look to be much larger than 20 feet. As far as i’m aware 40′ is the most common size. How many 20 footers do you see being pulled around by tractor trailers?

      PS… look at the ratios… there is no way the length is limited to 2.5x the width, the ratio appears much closer to 5:1.

  • Brian Jones

    That makes the barge roughly 250′ long and the 91′ most likely the width if not a simple mistake.

  • http://www.columbia-group.com Jim Greco

    Ocean shipping containers come in sizes:

    20′
    40′
    45′

    and are all 8′ wide. Not 8.5′ wide.

    • Brian Jones

      I stand corrected!

    • Endrick

      Finally – this discussion was getting silly. The first pic clearly showed 40 footers or 45’s, hard to tell the difference from a picture.

  • Hubertd

    Another containers loss overboard….
    What is the difference between a log carrier and a container ship? None…both carry deck load subject to sea conditions and vessel’s rolls, and both carry a deck load which can float once overboard….and become a hazard to other vessels, especially small vessels. The only difference is that when overboard, very often, containers carry hazardous goods inside creating an additional problem.
    Oh yes, there a little difference between a log carrier and a container ship….the log carrier has some posts or stanchions, welded on the main deck to prevent the lost of the deck cargo….My father used to carry loose pulp wood and he had a fence around the main deck to secure its cargo. Never lost one single piece of wood despite any sea conditions…
    As for the container ship, no fence, no side post…and they keep loosing hundreds and hundreds of container all over the globe…
    Maybe IMO should review the rules for this particular trade….and Mr “Superman” Watson, instead of trying to collide with Japanese bunkering tanker, should instead start running for these missing containers…this action would prove to be better for the environment!!!
    PS I know that AIMU already has a technical commitee to review this issue…

  • Craig Seifert

    “Good enough for Government Work” is what they say on the dock, right?

    I think the bar needs to be raised a few feet, or meters.

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