News Cargo vessel loses 40 containers off NSW coast

Cargo vessel loses 40 containers off NSW coast

APL England
The APL England was carrying more than 120 containers when it lost engine power in heavy seas of the NSW coast. Photo: AMSA
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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is expected to board a Singapore-flagged ship that lost 40 shipping containers and damaged another 74 in rough seas off the NSW coast on the weekend.

Nine more containers were left dangling from the ship’s starboard and port sides.

The container ship APL England was bound for Melbourne from China when it lost at least 114 of its cargo of containers in rough seas about 11am on Sunday.

The loss forced the ship turn around and head to Brisbane, where AMSA investigators were to board it on Tuesday.

AMSA sent out search aircraft to try to find the containers, which sank into water about two kilometres deep. No cargo debris was located.

Paper from the YM Efficience washed up at Yacaaba Headland in 2018. Photo: Roads and Maritime Services

A cargo ship that lost more than 80 containers in a similar incident June 2018 caused widespread damage along the NSW coast as authorities spent weeks scouring the sea floor. Only two containers were recovered.

YM Efficiency was on its was from Taiwan to Sydney when it was hit by heavy swells about 30 kilometres off the coast of Port Stephens in NSW.

Nappies, jars, car parts, packaged food, clocks and sanitary items washed up in the Hunter region, forcing a major clean-up operation that lasted weeks.

AMSA said Sunday’s rollover was similar to the YM Efficiency, with both ships losing engine power in heavy seas.

The APL England reportedly suffered a temporary loss of propulsion during heavy seas about 75 kilometres south-east of Sydney, which caused it to roll.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was also notified and will investigate.

The APL England – under different management at the time – also lost 37 containers in the Great Australian Bight in August 2016, also due to heavy rolling in rough seas.

-with AAP