Boat owners have been warned that empty shipping containers washed overboard 75 miles off Land’s End could be floating around the Westcountry coast.
A number of containers were lost from a Maersk cargo ship as it crossed the northern stretches of the Bay of Biscay in stormy conditions.
Most of the containers were empty and are believed to have sunk in French waters, some 75 nautical miles south west of Land’s End.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s surveillance aircraft has been searching UK waters, and ships passing through the English Channel have been warned and asked to report any sightings.
Three containers have been reported so far, one of which is off Start Point, Devon, while the others are in mid-Channel.
“The MCA is working closely with Maersk to ensure they recover the containers, which are their property,” the MCA said.
“The situation is being closely monitored and further searches involving the MCA’s surveillance aircraft are likely to be carried out over the weekend.
“Should any members of the public spot any containers, they should call 999 straight away and ask for the Coastguard.”