(Canadian Coast Guard/Twitter)

In a live media briefing today, the Canadian Coast Guard provided updates regarding the MV Zim Kingston vessel fire and loss of cargo containers off the coast of Vancouver Island.

At around 11 a.m. Saturday, flames could be seen coming from the MV Zim Kingston, the same vessel that lost an estimated 35 to 40 cargo containers in rough seas west of Vancouver Island on Thursday.

At this time, there are no visible flames on board the vessel but smoke is still present. Pockets of flames are still a possibility and cause for concern.

According to officials, cooling efforts have continued and conditions on the vessel have not seen any substantial changes in the past twenty four hours.

The Coast Guard, Ministry of Environment, CRD and First Nations groups continue to monitor the situation and provide updates. 

The MV Zim Kingston is currently anchored 4.7 nautical miles from shore of Vancouver Island. The anchors are holding and no drifting of the boat has been recorded. 

A one nautical mile emergency zone surrounding the vessel remains in place as established by the Coast Guard under the Canada Shipping Act. 

Currently, there are twenty personnel onboard the vessel. This includes crew, surveyors and emergency responders. 

Crews are currently in the process of determining what has burned, what is still smouldering as well as analyzing the temperatures inside the burning cargo containers.

Island Health are actively monitoring the situation and at this time they have no concerns of harm to Vancouver Islanders from the fire. 

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

In relation to the lost cargo containers from last Thursday, Gillian Olliver, Advanced Planning Unit Leader with the Coast Guard said aerial surveillance was unable to take off yesterday in their efforts to locate the cargo containers due to low visibility. 

The containers are believed to be located off the Cape Scott area of north Vancouver Island. 

With weather conditions continuing to improve, flights are expected to take off today to help locate the containers and send back their coordinates. The Coast Guard is also working to deploy more tracking buoys. 

Although it is not anticipated that these cargo containers will come ashore, there is still the possibility some could.

The vessel’s owner has contracted a local company that is equipped to handle the debris, in the event that they do come ashore. 

Anyone who does come across them is asked to report them to the 1-800-889-8852 reporting line. 

The ship owner has identified which containers were involved in the fire and are working to rule out which containers went overboard.

The Coast Guard is still waiting on a detailed list to be compiled.

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