Australia to Investigate Loss of 83 Containers from Ship in Heavy Weather

The container ship YM Efficiency arrives at Port Botany in Sydney, Australia, June 6, 2018. AAP/David Moir/via REUTERS

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will investigate the loss of dozens of shipping containers overboard from the Yang Ming-operated cargo ship YM Efficiency off of New South Wales, Australia last Friday.

The Liberian-flagged YM Efficiency was sailing from Taiwan to Port Botany with 2,252 loaded containers when it encountered rough weather off Port Stephens, News South Wales shortly after midnight on June 1, 2018.

The large swells caused the ship to roll and pitch heavily, leading to the loss of 83 containers overboard and another 30 containers moved or damaged on board, the ATSB said.

Video: 83 Containers Lost from Cargo Ship

Debris from the ship has washed up along the shores of New South Wales. As of Tuesday, about 100 contract workers had joined the shore clean-up effort. Officials have also been issuing regular warnings to ensure ships and boaters are aware of the potential hazard from floating debris.

“Continuing bad weather is hampering efforts, but [on Wednesday] the forecast is for the weather and visibility to improve slightly, so divers will be deployed to join the efforts to assess rubbish that may be sitting on the seabed in the vicinity of Jimmys and Hawks Nest,” said Roads and Maritime Services Executive Director of Maritime, Angus Mitchell.

The ATSB said that during its investigation it will obtain information and recordings from the ship, company and pilots, and will interview directly involved parties as appropriate.

A report will be released at the end of the investigation.

As of Tuesday afternoon the YM Efficiency remained at anchor off coast of Sydney as it awaited entry into port. 

Yang Ming says there have been no reports of damage to the vessel or marine pollution other than the lost containers. 

“Till this moment, everything is under master’s control, and vessel ‘s safety navigation has been well secured,” Yang Ming said in a statement. “She has already arrived out off Sydney port, however, due port closure under adverse weather, she is unable to be berthed now. YM is trying utmost to secure a berth for her a.s.a.p.”

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