APL Containership Loses Containers Off Australia

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 53
May 26, 2020

Photo: AMSA

An APL containership lost about 40 containers overboard during heavy sea Sunday off the coast of Australia. 

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority boarded the Singapore-flagged APL England upon its arrival at a Port of Brisbane anchorage. Once on board, AMSA surveyors conducted a seaworthiness inspection to check the structural and operational condition of the ship following the collapse of container stacks on the deck. The inspection will determine if and how the ship can be brought into the Port of Brisbane safely. 

Photos shows collapsed stacks of containers on the deck of the APL England after the ship experienced heavy seas as it sailed off the coast of Sydney on Sunday. 

“Just after 6.10am, the Singapore flagged container ship APL England experienced a temporary loss of propulsion during heavy seas about 73 kilometres south east of Sydney,” the AMSA said in an update. 

“The ship’s power was restored within a few minutes but during this time the ship reported that it was rolling heavily, causing container stacks to collapse and several containers to fall overboard,” the update said. 

Photo: AMSA

APL England’s Master reported 40 containers lost overboard and 74 containers have been damaged. 

“While it is still unclear exactly which containers have fallen overboard, initial indications are that the affected stacks contained a wide range of goods like household appliances, building materials and medical supplies,” the AMSA said. 

No dangerous goods appear to be in cargo in the affected areas. 

The AMSA said it is working closely with the ship’s cargo agent to confirm exactly which containers went overboard.

Reports have come in of some medical supplies washing up between Magenta Beach and The Entrance, which correlates to drift models of debris and are consistent with items listed on the ship’s cargo manifest.

“Under the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies, the NSW Government has lead response for shoreline clean-up. AMSA will support NSW in their response. Modelling suggests that debris such as this could continue to wash-up over the coming days,” said Allan Schwartz, AMSA General Manager of Operations. 

The APL England was en route from China to Australia when the incident occurred. 

In 2018, a Yang Ming containership, YM Efficiency, lost about 80 containers overboard while battling heavy swells off the east coast of Australia. The AMSA-led operation to recover the containers from the seabed was only recently completed this month.


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