At about 10.45am AEST this morning, Sunday 24 May, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received notification that a container ship had lost cargo overboard off the NSW coast.
Just after 6.10am, the Singapore flagged container ship APL England experienced a temporary loss of propulsion during heavy seas about 73 kilometres south east of Sydney.
The ship was en route from China to Australia.
The ship’s power was restored within a few minutes but during this time the ship reported that it was rolling heavily, causing container stacks to collapse and several containers to fall overboard.
The Master of the APL England has reported that 40 containers were lost overboard, 74 containers have been damaged. Six containers are reported to be protruding from starboard side, and three from the port side of the ship.
AMSA intends to task one our challenger jets to proceed to the area to look for containers and debris and to inspect the ship for any signs of damage or pollution.
The APL England is currently located to the north of Sydney and is continuing to head north to minimise the impact of the heavy weather.
At this stage it is unknown whether there will be any shoreline impacts associated with this incident and AMSA is working with NSW Maritime to monitor the situation and develop an appropriate response.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been notified.