Deputy federal incident commander Mariah McCooey said three of the boxes have washed up on a beach in Cape Scott on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
The number of lost containers could change and “there’s a good chance that a lot of them have already sunk,” McCooey told a news briefing.
The updated number comes after the owner of the MV Zim Kingston provided information showing 2,000 containers were on board with 1,000 on deck when two caught fire and others fell overboard as the ship approached Vancouver last week.
Crews attacked flare-ups inside individual containers overnight, which didn’t spread, and they continued to look for hot spots on Wednesday, coast guard official Paul Barrett said.
A flyover was planned Wednesday starting from where the containers were lost and following the path where they’ve been spotted and are projected to drift, he said.
The Greece-based ship remains anchored in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The owner, Danaos Shipping Co., has said it is co-operating with Canadian officials and a salvage contractor to develop a plan to locate and retrieve the lost containers.
McCooey said authorities now have a list of contents from all the containers identified as being lost, including industrial and car parts, Christmas decorations, sofas, poker tables, clothing, toys, yoga mats, stand-up paddle boards and other everyday items.
Two containers storing hazardous chemicals were among those lost overboard, and that number hasn’t changed since the first estimate, she said.
Air quality monitoring has not found any contaminants of concern at levels that put public health at risk,provincial incident commander Zachery Scher told the briefing.