1000s of pink bottles wash ashore – Cornwall

Vanish Bottles wash upAs 1000s of pink bottles wash ashore in Cornwall, National Trust volunteers spearhead the operation to recover them amid fears of pollution from many that have leaked.

The bottles are presumed to come from a shipping container lost at sea by MV Blue Ocean which lost several containers overboard close to Lands End in May 2015 – one of which was carrying 27 tons of Vanish detergent. The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) have said that the evidence linking the lost container with the vast numbers of pink bottles littering many Cornish beaches is “purely circumstantial” but it does make one wonder what other explanation there could be!

Should the loss of a shipping container loaded with 27 tons of Vanish (in the general vicinity) in May 2015 actually be the cause of so many bottles of the detergent currently polluting the beaches of the West Country now, this would suggest a couple of scenarios: Either there has been a pink “slick” of these bottles floating unseen in the area for over 7 months or, more likely, that there was a 27+ ton container floating (also unseen) in the area until, at some point, it broke up through collision, wave action or by being dashed on rocks.

A twenty foot container (TEU) needs to displace around 34 tons of water to sink. A container weighing 27+ tons would therefore float very low in the water and be a serious hazard to vessels and the lives of crews. That such a hazard could have been floating around, just off the coast, for so long will give anyone who ventured out to sea in the area during the time pause for thought. What should also be of some concern is the fact that the MV Blue Ocean lost “several” containers in the original incident.

Where are they?

Surely if one container could feasibly float unseen for 7 months – so could others?

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