Crates of apples and rice cakes have washed ashore on Pembrokeshire beaches following reports of containers being swept overboard in the Irish Sea.

Western Telegraph:

The clean-up operation at Freshwater West on Friday, December 13. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney.


On Wednesday, Milford Haven Coastguard said it was investigating reports of up to 12 shipping containers loose around the island of Grassholm.

Western Telegraph:

PICTURE: Gareth Davies / Hidden Pembrokeshire Facebook page.

It is believed the containers may have been lost by the Cyprus-registered Elbcarrier cargo ship, caught in storms while en-route to Dublin from Rotterdam.

Specialist publication the Martime Bulletin reported at least 12 containers overboard in the Celtic Sea on Sunday afternoon, December 8, after being caught in rough seas.

The drifting containers were spotted in the sea late on December 8, and further reports have stated they may now be near Grassholm.

The Elbcarrier reached Dublin Port on Monday afternoon, December 9.

Yesterday evening, people started to find crates of apples, rice cakes and tin foil.

Items were found at Angle, St Brides Bay, Freshwater West among others.

Chloe Jones said: "There were loads still down Freshwest this evening - the whole tide line covered in apples and little white rice cake packages."

Another report stated items had also been found at Gelliswick and Broad Haven.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is aware items of debris have begun to wash ashore after being lost in the early hours of Monday morning from a container ship sailing off the Pembrokeshire coast.

“These items may include packets of rice cakes, apples and tin foil.

“Items have been reported at Broad Haven in St Brides Bay, Angle and Freshwater West. A Maritime & Coastguard Agency reconnaissance aircraft is carrying out regular checks of local beaches, and the Pembrokeshire coast National Park will be assisting in surveying the beaches. 

“Those responsible for the cargo are aware and are formulating a clean-up operation and temporary storage in co-ordination with Pembrokeshire County Council.

“As there is an ongoing clean-up operation, we ask that items are left for the authorities to collect and dispose of appropriately. These materials have an owner so if you do recover anything, please be aware that you have a legal requirement to report it to the Receiver of Wreck, however small or seemingly insignificant the items appear to be.

“If you do see anything which may be related to this incident, please report this to your local Coastguard Operations Centre along with a description of its location, and any images you are able to take.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman, added: "Pembrokeshire County Council is working with other organisations including the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, NRW and Keep Wales Tidy, to monitor the coastline between Newgale and Barafundle.

"The Council will arrange to collect and store any items of the cargo washed ashore on local beaches.

"Anyone finding items - if able to do so - is asked to place them above the strandline or place them by bins for collection.

"Any property removed from beaches must be reported to the Receiver of Wrecks.

"Loose apples may be among the cargo washed up and dog walkers are asked to take care that their pets do not ingest them as it will make the animal unwell."

For more information regarding wreck material and how to report it visit: