Fishers fed up by slow response on container loss
On year after 83 containers toppled on the "YM Efficiency", the shipping company did not seem to be concerned by containers and debris below the surface. Authorities and commercial fishers said that they were fed up with the company's slow response to salvaging containers lost at sea, amid fears the delay could cause further pollution to the ocean. 64 containers had been identified using a combination of sonar and remote underwater controlled devices. ASMA expected to confirm the locations of the remaining 17 containers within the coming months. The authority was also engaging international salvage experts to assess which containers may safely be removed and wastaking responsibility for the costly clean up.
First report: Container loss took only two minutes
It took just two minutes for surging seas off the NSW Central Coast to rip more than 80 containers from the deck of the "YM Efficiency", the first report into the incident revealed. She was sailing from Taiwan to Sydney when it was hit by huge seas off the coast of Port Stephens sending 81 containers tumbling into the ocean and a further 62 containers damaged. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau on July 23 said it was at about 12.30 a.m. on June 1 when the ship was hit with a "period of quick, heavy rolling for about 60 to 90 seconds". The ship's master estimated the vessel was twisting 30 degrees port and starboard in the seas as the alarms went off. The main engine was shut down and loud noises were heard on the deck. The second officer turned on the deck lights and saw containers had been lost and damaged. Two minutes later the rolling had subsided and the master took control of the drifting ship. The ATSB's preliminary report found the crew had checked the container lashings multiple times before the storm and had logged the deteriorating weather. Authorities worked feverishly to locate and map the drifting containers which posed severe risks to other boats in the water. For weeks after the incident, locals and Roads and Maritime Services removed tonnes of debris during clean-up efforts as plastic began washing up on pristine beaches as the cargo burst from damaged containers and floated ashore. A hydraulic survey vessel was also brought in by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, as arranged by the shipping company's insurer, to search the ocean floor as the clean-up continued into mid-June. A final report into the incident which littered Port Stephens beaches with debris isn't expected until mid-2019. The investigation is still underway and the ATSB will examine the Efficiency's container stow and lashings, its stability, the actions of officers and crews and weather conditions during the incident. The final report is not expected until mid-2019.
Search for lost containers delayed
An Australian Maritime Safety Authority sub-sea survey to locate the missing containers was due to wrap up earlier this month, but poor weather and sea conditions have pushed the search schedule back. The survey was now due to finish this week, if conditions remained safe enough to send the hydrographic survey vessel out to sea. Clean up of debris continued, with 1039 cubic metres salvaged across Port Stephens and the Mid North Coast. more than 40 days since the "YM Efficiency" lost 81 containers overboard in the waters off the Hunter’s coastline. NSW Maritime staff overseeing clean-up operations met with the Professional Fisherman Association and a number of select trawler operators last week. The plan was to overlay container location mapping with the trawler operator’s data to look for priority search areas. Representatives from the NSW Department of Primary Industries also attended the meeting to advise on expectations and priorities in areas within NSW state waters and within the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park and Solitary Islands Maritime Parks.Upload News