APL England container loss – Update 3

Wednesday 27 May 2020
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is investigating the loss of 40 containers from the Singapore-flagged container ship APL England during heavy seas off Sydney on Sunday, 24 May 2020.
Media Release

AMSA surveyors conducted an inspection of the ship at the Port of Brisbane anchorage (off Port Cartwright) on Tuesday, 26 May to establish the structural and operational condition of the ship.

The ship was found to be fit to be brought safely into the Port of Brisbane earlier today by Maritime Safety Queensland and the Brisbane Harbour Master.

The vessel was escorted into Moreton bay by two harbour tugs, one container salvage response vessel, two Queensland water police vessels and a Maritime Safety Queensland pollution response vessel. It arrived safely in port at midday.

AMSA General Manager Operations Allan Schwartz said AMSA was investigating on two fronts. 

“Firstly, this is a foreign-flagged ship in Australian waters and it will be checked for compliance with both Australian and international maritime safety standards,” Mr Schwartz said.

“We expect to have an outcome of this inspection in a matter of days which will include any breaches of those safety standards and any measures the ship will need to take to rectify those deficiencies.

“Secondly, we need to establish if the ship has breached any Australian environmental protection regulations and or standards that apply to the safe and secure carriage of cargo.  The first phase of that investigation is expected to take at least a month and may take longer.

“Subject to the outcome, legal action could be taken by AMSA against various parties including the ship's owner and others.”

AMSA is continuing to provide drift modelling and work with NSW Maritime, which is the lead agency responding to the shoreline impacts of the container spill. Members of the public who discover any suspected debris or shipping containers on NSW beaches should contact the NSW Maritime Info Line 13 12 36 or report via email to incident@transport.nsw.gov.au.