APL England shipping container loss – Update 4

Thursday 28 May 2020
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) detained the APL England in the Port of Brisbane last night.
Media Release

AMSA General Manager of Operations Allan Schwartz said the authority’s inspection of the ship was ongoing but had already revealed that lashing arrangements for cargo were inadequate and securing points for containers on the deck of the ship were heavily corroded.

The detention follows the loss of about 40 containers off Sydney on Sunday.

“These findings constitute a clear breach of a requirement under SOLAS to ensure that a ship and its equipment are maintained so as not to present a risk to the safety of the ship itself or anyone on board the ship,” Mr Schwartz said.

“The detention will not be lifted until these serious deficiencies are rectified. That is now a matter for the ship’s owner, American President Lines (ALP), and operator to rectify.

“These findings will form part of AMSA’s ongoing investigation and, while we do not want to pre-empt the outcomes of that investigation, it is already clear that the risk of this container loss occurring could have been reduced.”

Mr Schwartz said AMSA expected the ship owner and its insurer, Steamship Mutual, to take full responsibility for remediating any impacts of this incident.

“We’re pleased to hear news today that the insurer is engaging contractors to retrieve some of the floating containers,” Mr Schwartz said.

Last night AMSA’s Challenger search jet conducted an aerial survey of the New South Wales coastline to assist in locating and identifying semi-submerged containers in the water. The flight identified two targets which have been assessed as comprising of five containers (including one set of four containers locked together).