Coast Guard warns mariners of stray cargo containers near Norfolk International Terminal,

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat - Medium file photo by Petty Officer 3rd. Class Mark Jones)

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat – Medium file photo by Petty Officer 3rd. Class Mark Jones)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is warning mariners of loose cargo containers that fell from a cargo ship this afternoon at the Norfolk International Terminal (NIT) in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Coast Guard Cutter Razorbill contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Road command center at 3:45 p.m., and notified them that they noticed the loose containers while in transit. Virginia Port Authority reported that eight containers fell off of the cargo ship APL Antwerp while conducting offload operations.

Sector Hampton Roads launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth, and diverted the Razorbill to assist.

Three of the containers have sunk and all other containers have been brought back to NIT. The Coast Guard is coordinating efforts with the Virginia Port Authority Maritime Incident Response Team for recovery.

A marine safety information broadcast is being transmitted on VHF-FM radio channel 16 to notify mariners of the hazard.

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