The government of New South Wales in Australia has issued warnings about pollution and floating containers after more than 80 containers belonging to a Yang Ming ship were lost at sea off the coast during a heavy storm on 31 May 2018.
The Taiwanese carrier’s containership, YM Efficiency, was heading to Sydney from Taiwan when rough sea conditions caused 83 containers to fall overboard and damage another 30 while the ship was traveling in the Tasman Sea, about 30 kilometres off Australia's east coast.
YM Efficiency: Authorities have warned beach goers not to help themselves to any of the tonnes of goods that are expected to wash ashore in coming days after falling from a cargo ship near Newcastle. @PaulKadak #YMEfficiency #7News pic.twitter.com/cRUyrt6PjT
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) June 2, 2018
Maritime authorities have warned of the potential hazards that the floating containers could present to other ships.
Local media have also reported that nappies, surgical masks and sanitary products are washing up on the beaches in the Australian state of New South Wales and its capital, Sydney.
Read the latest technical paper from Port Technology on the dangers shipping can pose to the environment — “Arctic Container Shipping: The Risks of Heavy Fuel Oil”
The New South Wales (NSW) government department for Transport Roads and Maritime Services are working with various state and federal authorities to manage the effects of the container spill.
There has also been a push by the local community to help remove debris, as there are fears that the containers and their contents could have an impact on whales and the wider environment.
In an interview with 7 News Sydney, Angus Mitchell of the NSW Maritime department said: “What we do know is that there are no dangerous or hazardous goods in the containers.
“The exact contents are being sought from the shipping owner.”