The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has charged the master of the APL England for offences related to pollution and/damage to Australia’s marine environment as a result of poor cargo handling.
In an update, AMSA General Manager Operations Allan Schwartz said laying charges against the ship’s Master was not undertaken lightly.
“This and other incidents remind us of the important role the ship’s Master has in ensuring the ships that ply our waters are operated safely and do not damage our marine environment,” Schawartz said.
The APL England was towed to the Port of Brisbane on 24 May after losing 40 containers, a figure which has now risen to 50.
“Today’s actions should not detract from the responsibility of the ship owner APL Singapore, insurer Steamship Mutual, and operator ANL who remain accountable for remediation of any impacts of this incident,” Schwartz continued.
“We welcome ANL taking responsibility by engaging contractors to undertake shoreline clean-up and retrieve some of the floating containers this week, but the impacts of this incident could take months, if not years to remediate and we expect these efforts to be sustained for however long it takes.”
Schwartz also said the ship remained under detention in the Port of Brisbane and would not be released until its serious deficiencies have been rectified.
“As of today, AMSA has placed an additional requirement on the owner of the ship under the Protection of the Seas Act which must be met before the ship will be released from detention.
“This action seeks financial security from the insurers in the order of $22 million. This provides a commitment that they will remediate all impacts of this incident. That $22 million covers estimated costs including that of a clean-up.”