Here's something you don't see every day: photos of a foundering containership. Not to make light of the resulting oil spill and its tragic consequences or rub salt into vessel operator Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s wounds, but some of the photos of the Rena aground on Astrolabe Reef off the coast of New Zealand are interesting indeed. (Full disclosure: This writer worked for Med Shipping back in the 1980s.)
A collection of 32 photos can be seen on The Atlantic's website.
Dozens of containers have fallen overboard and hundreds of gallons of bunker fuel have leaked from the cracked hull since the Oct. 5 accident, fouling the shore and reportedly killing more than 1,000 seabirds. What's intriguing to importers, exporters, and others with an interest in maritime goings-on are the photos showing a stack of containers coming loose from the deck lashings and toppling overboard and 40-foot containers floating in the water like giant bath toys. Also of interest: photos of local residents exercising their ancient and completely legal right of salvage, opening containers and scooping up merchandise that washed up on the beach.