The subsea search for 79 missing containers that fell from the containership YM Efficiency earlier this month is set to kick off in the next few days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Friday.
AMSA has confirmed that the ship’s insurers have contracted Port of Newcastle to provide their hydrographic survey vessel to initially conduct a five-day search.
The Liberian-flagged container ship YM Efficiency lost 81 containers after experiencing heavy weather approximately 30km southeast of Newcastle on June 1. Only two containers have been recovered so far.
Large amounts of debris has washed up and been recovered from New South Wales’ central coast beaches since the containers were lost.
The YM Efficiency arrived into Sydney about four days later with stacks of collapsed containers on its deck and hanging off the side.
The AMSA said the search will focus on the high priority areas around where the containers were lost, and where modeling indicates that most of them are likely to be located.
The vessel will conduct daily surveys of the area and return to Newcastle each night. The AMSA said it will take approximately a fortnight (that’s two weeks) to process and analyze the survey data and provide quality safety advice with associated maps and locations.
“Given the potential risk to vessel safety, particularly trawling operations, AMSA will update the public and industry stakeholders as soon as we have confirmed data,” the AMSA said in a statement.
The AMSA also noted that during the process to unload the remaining damaged containers from the YM Efficiency, it was discovered that fewer containers were lost than initially reported. The total number of containers lost has been revised down from 83 containers to 81, leaving 79 containers still unaccounted for.
The AMSA said mariners should remain on the lookout for navigational hazards in the area until such time as all the containers have been located.
The YM Efficiency, which is owned Taiwan-based Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., was traveling from Taiwan to Sydney when it experienced 5-meter swells leading to the cargo loss June 1.