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Container ship loses at least 40 boxes in heavy seas off Australian coast on Sunday

FILE PHOTO: Cargo ship APL England loses at least 40 containers in heavy seas off NSW coast on Sunday

PortandTerminal.com, May 24, 2020

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The APL England, a Singapore-flagged container ship on route to the Port of Melbourne from China, lost at least 40 containers after experiencing a loss of propulsion in heavy seas shortly after 6am on Sunday.

Power was restored in minutes but while it was out the ship rocked heavily and multiple container stacks collapsed and fell overboard.

The APL England’s master reported that 40 containers had been lost and 74 containers were damaged.

Six containers were said to be protruding from starboard side and three from the port side of the ship.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (ATSB) will task one of its challenger jets to look for containers and debris and to inspect the ship for any signs of damage or pollution.

“At this stage it is unknown whether there will be any shoreline impacts associated with this incident and AMSA is working with NSW Maritime to monitor the situation and develop an appropriate response,” AMSA said in a statement late Sunday.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been notified and will launch an investigation.

The Yang Ming Incident

Container ship with damaged containers
The Yang Ming container ship YM Efficiency arrives at Port Botany in Sydney, Australia, June 6, 2018. AAP/David Moir/via REUTERS

This latest incident has occurred close to two years after the YM Efficiency lost more than 80 containers in heavy seas off the Hunter coast. Tonnes of debris washed ashore in the weeks after the incident. More than one year later residents were still collecting container debris from along their beaches.

After Yang Ming refused to pay the salvage costs, a sister ship of the YM Efficiency was arrested and detained while the Port of Sydney in February 2020.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority concluded a $17 million operation to recover most of those containers earlier this month.

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