Chances are that you’ve forgotten the walloping $3.25 million settlement the owners and operators of the container vessel Med Taipei paid to the United States to resolve allegations that the 15 containers lost overboard in 2004 resulted in long-term damage to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The container that was central to that settlement is still at the bottom of the bay, doing its thin at the service of science.
In February 2004, 15 containers fell overboard from the Med Taipei when the vessel was traveling on rough seas from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The containers carrieda variety of cargo – furniture, thousands of tires, several hundred thousand plastic items, miles of cyclone fencing, hospital beds, wheel chairs, recycled cardboard and clothing items. A US Coast Guard report revealed the containers were inappropriately loaded on board the vessel – there were faulty welds on anchor points for the containers, as well as missing d-rings from the deck of the vessel.