Maersk containers

A Maersk Line container ship lost about 70 cargo boxes overboard Saturday during rough weather off the coast of North Carolina.

A container ship on its way to the Port of Charleston lost about 70 cargo boxes overboard Saturday night during high winds and rough seas off the coast of North Carolina.

The Maersk Shanghai contacted U.S. Coast Guard officials to say the containers went into the ocean about 17 miles off Oregon Inlet. The Coast Guard issued a navigation hazard warning and is advising mariners to transit the area with caution.

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The 1,060-foot-long vessel was on its way the Charleston from the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Charleston after midnight on Monday. 

The incident occurred as a powerful Nor'easter slammed the East Coast over the weekend, producing hurricane-force winds and waves of up to 40 feet.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_