Shipping container debris washes ashore at Nelson Bay

Bellinda Kontominas
Swellnet Dispatch

A huge clean up is underway 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.

Nappies, sanitary products and surgical masks were among the flotsam that washed up after 83 containers fell overboard from the YM Efficiency on Thursday, about 30 kilometres off the coast of Port Stephens.

Volunteers have been clearing carloads of debris from Jimmys and Bennetts beach at Hawks Nest since Sunday morning.

Volunteers have been clearing carloads of debris from Jimmys and Bennetts beach at Hawks Nest since Sunday morning.

Late Saturday afternoon, marine rescue authorities spotted four containers about one kilometre offshore of Hawks Nest on the mid-North Coast, Roads and Maritime executive director Angus Mitchell said.

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.

Mr Mitchell said there had been no reports of any further containers lost by the ship.

Rolls of paper from the cargo vessel YM Efficiency washed up at Yacaaba Headland.

Ute-loads of rubbish collected

Hawks Nest resident Julie Sims said dozens of locals 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.

Debris was washing up from Fingal Bay to Jimmy's Beach as well as Nelson Bay inside Port Stephens.

"It's everywhere, we only did a 200-metre stretch today before the tide came in, but as the tide was coming in more plastic was washing in with it," she said on Sunday, adding that several utes had been filled with the debris.

"It's the tip of the iceberg, this was literally the first wave of rubbish … it's going to take weeks or months before this is finished."

"Standing on the beach it's just horrendous. It's heartbreaking to see in this pristine location."

Ms Sims said a lot of the plastic was becoming caught in the seaweed and needed to be pulled out by hand.

Mr Mitchell warned anyone looking to scavenge the debris that they had no right to do so.

"Members of the public are reminded items recovered from containers remain the property of the consignor and can't be salvaged," he said.

Boaters are being warned via marine radio to look out for the 12-metre containers.

Cargo ship waiting for berth

Managing director of Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp, Steven Ka, said the YM Efficiency was currently off Sydney, waiting for the port to open.

He said the company was doing everything it could to secure a berth as soon as possible.

Mr Ka said 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, Mr Ka said.

//Bellinda Kontominas and Emma Tonkin
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 5:56am

What a mess. This is gonna take a while to cleanup. And unlike an oil slick (which sits on the ocean surface) there'll be a lot of debris floating through the water column or sitting on the sea floor.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 6:38am

The ship is called the' Efficiency'......joke right?

simba

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 6:49am

Unfortunately not Simba. Let us know if you see anything up your way! Couldn't rule it out.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 7:15am

About 6000 cubic mts of cargo all up..lets hope not too many containers opened up

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 9:19am

"Mr Mitchell warned anyone looking to scavenge the debris that they had no right to do so.
"Members of the public are reminded items recovered from containers remain the property of the consignor and can't be salvaged," he said."

No scabs !

gcuts's picture
gcuts's picture
gcuts commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 9:38am
blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 10:23am

There should be an agent for the shipping company somewhere in Sydney. The best thing would be to return all their property to their office. If you do that I think you can claim compensation for your work. So come on down with the ute loads of nappies

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 10:29am

ha ha- great idea.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 10:29am

Can you tell them to come and pick up?

joshhopp's picture
joshhopp's picture
joshhopp commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 10:35am

That's an outstanding idea blindboy.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 11:03am

Gutsy muck raking effort mid storm on a Sunday. Big salute to mighty proud Aussies!

World sees a bigger storm brewing with this incident being played out in Sydney Waters.
It was reported earlier that YM Efficiency was/has been refused entry!
Oz unions may not approve of non union Container Stacking!
Perfect timing for By Election...To decide!

Photo shows heavy paper rolls escaped container. Known gyrating wrecking ball onboard.
Images of crushed'empty'central containers weakening stack before tumbling overboard.
The whole thing could be a death trap...

Likely that Govt will invite OZ union wharfies into high stakes giant KerPlunk game.
Foreign Rubbish/Border Security/Union Bashing will no doubt secure Super Saturday.
Super Ministry hides grainy footage of smuggled Alien saboteur...We decide!... WE KNOW!

[factcheck] 40ft lost 'Top containers' hold 28t x 83 containers = 2,324t of marine debris.
Purely a matter of when rather than if the contents break free on remaining containers.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 2:53pm

Not to mention hazard to boaties in the area with the floating shipping containers. Hitting one of those can ruin your whole day.

Australia's cargo cult strikes back

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 3:18pm

More seriously if you are involved in the clean up log your time and expenses as they really are liable for that.......I can see a nice little class action in the making.

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 6:45pm

Can't see a class action at all blindboy you do raise a good point though companies should be held accountable for the effort required by the public to tidy up the mess they have made and damage to the environment. Sadly I cannot see any compensation given for these efforts.

gcuts's picture
gcuts's picture
gcuts commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 9:39am

Precedent exists under international maritime law:

http://www.imo.org/en/About/Conventions/ListOfConventions/Pages/Internat...

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 5:27pm

Newcastle Herald has some Debri and very Mangled Container pics
Why is Emu oil being Imported from Taiwan by ViT Australia ? does it leave Aust to be processed and packaged...?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 5:39pm

Just saw, not good at all :(

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 12:52pm

Can't even make our own Emu oil

Hoist the Banana Flag Captain Keating!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 7:22pm

WJ I think it is clear under law that they pay for the clean up. If the volunteers have made a significant contribution to that then they would have a case for compensation particularly if they are supported by the government. If people are cleaning up and neither the company nor the government has attempted to stop them then I would think that they have defacto permission to do the job. Local governments presumably will also have a claim.

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 7:48pm

Im not exactly sure what legislation your referring to that allows for compensation but considering the public have clearly been told not to assist with the clean up and to report to the EPA so contractors can clean up there would be no case for compensation for those who are cleaning up out of their own good will.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-04/container-ship-debris-litters-nsw-...

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 8:19pm

The information in the article bans salvage not clean up. If the EPA or anyone else has issued a further instruction, I missed it.

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 8:29pm

Think its pretty self explanatory if you read the article mate. Im all for the public being compensated for the effort somehow I don't think its going to happen.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 8:26pm

The ship's insurer has put out skip bins to help the locals clean up according to The Guardian. They also say the state government is looking to recover the cost......I say go for it, get the local government behind you and demand payment for the work. Put it in a local environment fund if you don't want it!

John Eyre's picture
John Eyre's picture
John Eyre commented Monday, 4 Jun 2018 at 9:17pm

http://www.wonderoil.com/emu_oil_faq_s

'Emus are indigenous to Australia. Since their commercialization in the late 1970's, they are now raised all over the world. India and China are developing emu as a major food source.'

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 12:59am

NEWS UPDATE: Debris/containers reporting line ph: NSW Maritime 131236

Tuesday morning the ship may take a pilot by helicopter to be slowly/carefully berthed.
Govt says no charges are being laid but are trying to recoup clean up costs.
However Australian Transport Safety Bureau & AMSA will Investigate further.
Sydney Harbour Master anticipates a slow & careful recovery of containers

Yang Ming HQ has an emergency task force set up to deal with this incident.
Containers will be salvaged/removed by vessel's PNI,Britannia P&I club.
Til this moment everything is under the master's control.

Greens have called on Government to fast track clean up to minimize damage.
Greens spokesman said busiest shipping lane should have emergency response.

Marine Parks Association- Community has no time to wait for ship's owner

Shoal Bay Community Association feel they can't wait for official clean up.

Ship's insurer has laid out skips for residents to dispose of 'collected' rubbish.

Port Stephens Council warned volunteers of risk and to report the debris only.

NSW Environment Minister says...
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Roads & Maritime Services
NSW Environment Protection Agency
Are'working' with Local Councils.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 8:52am

Even bigger NEWS just in....Happy World Environment Day!

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 10:21am

Checked Yagon to Mango Sunday...nothing washed up there.

I thought Maritime Law is finders keepers???

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 11:31am

Getting anything in the way of compensation for volunteer individuals cleaning up would be a very long and tedious process and I doubt would be worth the effort,. Insurance payouts in the commercial shipping world can take many years. If you find , recover and return anything of value you will compensated for that , but it has to be in good condition or its "no cure , no pay".
I believe Maritime and EPA authorities assume control of the clean up and bill the company accordingly. It would be very hard to prove your expenses and effort level if not contracted to do so.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 11:35am

Good time to plug a book I read some time ago: 

The Wreckers: A Story Of Killing Seas, False Lights And Plundered Ships
By Bella Bathurst

Fabulous read.

gcuts's picture
gcuts's picture
gcuts commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 10:58am

Fuck me, your making serious money from the subscriptions and ad revenue off here if you can afford to buy that book...

https://www.amazon.com/WRECKERS-STORY-KILLING-LIGHTS-PLUNDERED/dp/000717...

$1690 plus postage!

Fuck.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 11:01am

Ha! Normally the hardcover is more expensive. Was a Xmas present from my Irish father-in-law.

mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 7:36am

$1690. for a book. Ha Ha try $16.90, you need to go to specsavers!

Mr mick

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 12:13pm

i specialise in bird law, so this is outside my area. but does inherent vice come into play?

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 1:20pm

Fascinating. I imagine the cuckoos must drive a lot of business for you in paternity disputes?

bjfitzhenry's picture
bjfitzhenry's picture
bjfitzhenry commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 1:14pm

Dear taxpayer
Good luck recovering any clean up costs....remember the oil tanker short-cutting the barrier reef a few years back...guess who paid?...not the insurer or ship owner....I think Qld courts might have fined the captain....and he disappeared anyway...

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018 at 1:35pm

SHIPPING NEWS: 'Weather & 'Other Issues' have further postponed today's docking'.
The new docking time is set @ 8:00 am Wednesday Port Botany.

Mid Coast Council have again advised Locals to drop what they're doing...
Customs & Border Force have made the scene & picked up the scavengers scent...

Breaking news: 'Soggy nappy lands volunteer beachcomber in deep shit'.
"Put down that Nappy!"... "NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 6 Jun 2018 at 9:27am

HARBOUR VIEWS : YM EFFICIENCY enters Harbour preparing to dock at Port Botany.
The ship is expected to berth @ 9:00 onward (Anytime soon)
Ship's spokesman has apologized and accepts full responsibility for recovery/clean up.

Harbour Master says unloading containers will be tricky like a complicated game of Jenga.

Ship's Debris has made it's way to the north of Newcastle...

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Wednesday, 6 Jun 2018 at 6:54pm

New artificial reefs north of Yacaaba headland.
Diving industry sees potential.
Whale watching fleet grounded.
Trawlermen making new nets.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 7:34pm

Friday 83 containers were missing...
Saturday 81 containers were missing...
Today 82 containers were missing...
(Find that missing lost container & you've found Comm Games asylum seekers hideout)

NSW Maritime services: 'Containers likely at the bottom of the sea but don't know for sure.'
Clean -Up is costing ship's insurers $10,000's a day

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Thursday, 7 Jun 2018 at 7:46pm

Hope the doors are open habitat creation for Grey Nurse Sharks

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 9 Jun 2018 at 12:33pm

5/yr olds worldwide can track letters/Cookies/Carrots to an imaginary friend in North Pole.

Yet "OVERSEAS" flight recorders can't keep afloat to save just one life!

In case of Shipping Containers... GPS are switched off once loaded onto Ship.
Logically it's cheaper to use One Ship's GPS than run down 5,000 hidden batteries.

Aircraft/Shipping are famous for safety impact release devices. Why not for essential data ?

Obviously design flaws protect precious/dangerous Top Secret info from www scavengers?
If they can't have it ! No else can either...but is that the right message to be sending?
We saw this approach last weekend..Stand back! Don't touch! Resulting in more loss again.

Take a look around! We're more lost than ever...Today/Last Week/Last Plane Crash..& on.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 12 Jun 2018 at 6:42pm

NEWS: YM EFFICIENCY (Container Incident)

Public Info Sessions...(2 locations)

*Wed 13 June, 6pm: Wests Nelson Bay, Remembrance Room
*Thurs 14 June, 10am: Baptist Church Tea Gardens

Report Debris/Contact 131236...Further updates on Claims/Clean -up/Debris Map...

www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/using-waterways/container-incident.html#Publ...

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 13 Jun 2018 at 9:24am

YM EFFICIENCY Marine Debris now strewn over 350-400 km of NSW Coastline.
Newcastle (Worimi) -- Coffs Harbour (Red Rock)

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 13 Jun 2018 at 9:30am

80 containers still missing...more Marine debris over many years as remaining containers break down on ocean floor

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