Driving To Deliver Your Business

Cargo ship still bound for Sydney loses 83 shipping containers overboard in storm

A Liberian-registered ship still bound for Port Botany, south of Sydney, has lost 83 shipping containers that fell overboard in strong winds off the Central Coast at midnight on Thursday. Another 30 containers onboard the vessel from Kaosiung, Taiwan, were reported to be severely damaged. Nappies, sanitary products and surgical masks have already washed ashore on the New South Wales coastline, according to the ABC[1].

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is issuing navigational warnings and asking other vessels to report if they see shipping containers floating just below the surface of the South Pacific Ocean. Shipping containers have already been reported to be drifting south of Port Stephens, just north of Newcastle, an AMSA spokesperson told The New Daily. “Likely many of the shipping containers have sunk, but some float low in the water, with vessels able to see them and report them to the AMSA,” the spokesperson said.

Skippers urged to be on the look out for debris which may pose a navigation hazard, after more than 80 containers are lost at sea, some 30km off the NSW Central Coast.

Any sightings should be reported to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority -… https://t.co/eAE07JJ6sh[2] — NSW Maritime (@NSWMaritime) June 1, 2018[3]

The spokesperson said the containers went overboard at midnight on Thursday, but the operator did not report the incident to AMSA until 11am on Friday. AMSA sent an aircraft past the vessel on Friday to capture vision of the damage and pollution off shore and will send inspectors on board once the ship berths.

The Liberia-registered ship, named the YM Efficiency, is still sailing on its way to Port Botany. Operator Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation Australia managing director Steven Ka told The New Daily all related parties were working to get the vessel into Port Botany as soon as possible. “As far as we have heard from the master of the vessel, some containers were falling overboard,” Mr Ka said.

Mr Ka said fortunately all of the crew on the YM Efficiency were safe, nobody got hurt and there has been no significant damage to the vessel. “So she is still sailing on the way to Port Botany,” he said. Mr Ka could not confirm the contents inside the shipping containers, but said they were “full” of “all kind” of items and “so far we know there are no dangerous cargoes involved”.

The Australian Associated Press reported the company is informing customers and discussing the next steps with its insurer.

Marine traffic around the world, including cargo vessels (green), fishing vessels (peach), cruise ships (red), pleasure crafts (magenta) and tugs or special craft (light blue). Photo: MarineTraffic

It is thought that somewhere between four and 27 shipping containers are lost in the waves each day, according to BBC nature documentary series, Blue Planet II. The Telegraph[4] reported shipping containers can take up to two months to sink, while refrigerated containers can be buoyed in the water for longer due to internal insulation. Contents of shipping containers can pollute the ocean and waters with hazardous chemicals or materials, but food, clothing and even toys have also been found on beaches around the world.

In 2006, thousands of bags of Doritos crisps washed up on the sands of the North Carolina Outer Banks and LEGO pieces continue to wash up on the Perran Sands in Cornwall in the United Kingdom after a container ship full of toys was hit by a wave in 1997.

In another incident, 29,000 plastic yellow ducks, known as the ‘Friendly Floatees’, red beavers, blue turtles and green fogs lost in the Pacific Ocean in 1992, were sited at beaches in the United States, South America, Europe and Australia.


  1. ^ ABC (www.abc.net.au)
  2. ^ https://t.co/eAE07JJ6sh (t.co)
  3. ^ June 1, 2018 (twitter.com)
  4. ^ The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *