Valuable cargo washes up on beaches after 40 containers fell from a ship off Sydney – as incredible photos show others about to drop off the side
- Cargo has washed up on beaches along the NSW Central Coast from cargo ship
- Singaporean-flagged APL England hit rough seas 73km south-east of Sydney
- It lost the cargo on Sunday and was forced to turn around and head to Brisbane
- Face masks have washed up on beaches on the NSW Central Coast on Tuesday
Cargo has washed up on beaches after a Singapore-flagged ship lost 40 shipping containers in rough seas off the coast of New South Wales.
The APL England was en route from China to Melbourne on Sunday when it hit wild weather about 73km south-east of Sydney.
Large swell caused the ship to roll and stacks of containers destabilised and fell into 2km-deep water, forcing the vessel to turn around and head towards Brisbane.
Incredible images show several containers hanging precariously over the edge of the vessel.
Unusual cargo has started to wash up on beaches after a Singapore-flagged ship lost 40 containers off the coast of New South Wales
About 40 containers filled with goods such as household appliances, building materials and medical supplies fell into 2km-deep water
About 40 containers filled with goods such as household appliances, building materials and medical supplies fell into the ocean, Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager of operations Allan Schwartz said.
People live along Sydney’s coast have started finding some of the cargo, including packets of surgical face masks and medical protective gear from China.
NSW Maritime executive director Alex Barrell said boxes of flexible ducting, commonly used in heating and cooling systems, washed ashore at beaches in Sydney’s east on Tuesday.
‘These are consistent with items on the ship’s cargo manifest, along with building supplies, protective equipment, plastic bottles and aircraft seats,’ Mr Barrell said in a statement.
‘Thankfully, no hazardous materials are reported in what fell overboard.’
Mr Schwartz said reports were received of face masks washing up between Magenta Beach and The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast.
‘These correlate to drift modelling of debris and are consistent with items listed on the ship’s cargo manifest,’ he said.
The ship lost the cargo on Sunday while en route from China to Melbourne, with the incident forcing the ship to turn and head toward Brisbane
The Singaporean-flagged APL England hit rough seas about 73km south-east of Sydney causing stacks of containers to destabilise
‘We will be managing any further collection and safe disposal of debris from this ship as part of our marine pollution responsibilities,’ Mr Barrell.
AMSA officers boarded the ship on Tuesday to check the ship’s structural and operational condition following the collapse of the container stacks.
Authorities expect to know the outcome of the inspection and have confirmation of the next steps on Wednesday morning.
This will include if and how the ship can be brought safely into the Port of Brisbane.
Incredible images showed several containers hanging precariously over the edge of the ship
NSW Maritime is advising coastal councils between Sydney and Gosford on dealing with the containers and their contents
‘Once the ship is safely in port we will begin our investigation which will focus on the safety of the ship, including whether cargo was appropriately stacked and secured on board the ship, and any potential breaches of environmental pollution regulations,’ Mr Schwartz said.
The APL England suffered a temporary loss of propulsion in heavy seas about 75km southeast of Sydney, which caused it to roll.
A few dozen containers tumbled overboard in waters about 2km deep while another 74 were damaged, leaving nine containers protruding from the ship’s starboard and port sides.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was also notified and will investigate.
The APL England – under different management – previously lost 37 containers in the Great Australian Bight in August 2016, also due to heavy rolling in rough seas.
A few dozen containers tumbled overboard in waters about 2km deep while another 74 were damaged