France has given Maersk Line until the end of the summer to pinpoint the location of around 500 containers which tumbled overboard from the Svendborg Maersk in international waters off the Atlantic coast in February this year.
None of the crew was injured during the incident and damage to the ship was minor.
A total of 517 boxes fell into the sea during a storm in the Bay of Biscay. 13 of them, floating on the surface, were recovered by French support vessels in the weeks following the incident. Maersk is said to have been billed €250,000 for the costs incurred.
However, given the scale of the losses, the French authorites have ordered Maersk to draw up a detailed map indicating the exact location of the containers which sank. This will involve the chartering of a ship capable of carrying out a sonar survey of the ocean floor.