Shipping Container Debris Washes Ashore at Nelson Bay

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On June 3, a huge clean-up was initiated on the mid-north coast after piles of debris washed up from shipping containers that fell off a cargo ship off the New South Wales coast during rough seas.

What happened?

The debris were stored in shipping containers onboard the cargo vessel ‘YM Efficiency’ and around 83 containers fell into sea after the vessel was caught amid rough seas about 30 kilometres off the coast of Port Stephens.

Napkins, sanitary products and surgical masks were among the flotsam and volunteers have been clearing carloads of debris from Jimmys and Bennetts beach at Hawks Nest.

Furthermore, marine rescue authorities spotted four containers about one kilometre offshore of Hawks Nest on the mid-North Coast, Roads. Debris was also found inside Port Stephens at Rocky Point near Anna Bay and at Fingal Head, while a section of shipping container was also located at Yacaaba Headland.

Debris washed up on shore

Number of residents around Hawks Nest and holidaymakers have collected items including containers of emu oil, toilet-paper packaging, thousands of red foil lolly wrappers and clocks still in their packaging. The debris was also found washed up from Fingal Bay to Jimmy’s Beach as well as Nelson Bay inside Port Stephens.

The rough incoming tides were making it worse as more plastics wastes are being dumped on the shore and they are worried when it will be over.

Statement released

A statement released by Maritime executive director Angus Mitchell said, “There had been no reports of any further containers lost by the ship. Members of the public are reminded items recovered from containers remain the property of the consignor and can’t be salvaged. A warning has been issued to ships to look out for the 12-metre containers”.

Managing director of Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp, Steven Ka, said; “The YM Efficiency was currently off Sydney, waiting for the port to open. The company was doing everything it could to secure a berth as soon as possible. There had been no dangerous cargo or hazardous material within the containers. Along with the 83 containers lost, 30 had collapsed and remained on deck and the vessel itself had not been damaged, although deck fittings would need to be repaired”.

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Source: ABC

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