The containers are said to have slipped from the deck of the MSC Flaminia, a German-registered cargo vessel which caught fire on 14 July in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, with the loss of two crew and forcing the rest to abandon ship.
The vessel had been en route from North Carolina in the United States to Brememhaven in northern Germany when the incident occurred.
Among the thousands of containers it was carrying were 149 classed as 'dangerous goods', their exact nature not yet confirmed, and it is thought some of these are among the containers that fell into the sea and went missing as the ship listed in mid-ocean.
As reported by the Maritime Bulletin, there was some speculation as to whether the missing containers slipped off deck or were jettisoned.
The containers have since appeared in the main cargo shipping lanes off the southwest coast, posing a danger to transatlantic vessels.
Operations have already begun to retrieve the containers and tow them into Castletownbere in West Cork.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.