Australian Transport Safety Bureau publishes its report on APL England incident
A preliminary investigative report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) details that in May 2020, when it lost 50 containers overboard about 46 nautical miles south-east of Sydney.
The preliminary report of the ongoing investigation sets out the sequence of events of the incident and describes that as the APL England moved down the east coast of Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology released daily forecasts with gale force wind warnings about a complex low pressure system forming off the south-east of the country.
“By 0600 on Sunday, May 24, while maintaining a southerly course and a speed of about 7 knots, the ship was pitching and periodically rolling in high seas and gale force winds. Shortly after, at 0610, the ship experienced a series of very heavy rolls, to about 25° either side of upright. On the bridge, with many items moving and falling to the deck and the crew holding on to maintain their footing, steering system and engine room alarms sounded, and then the main engine shut down due to a loss of oil pressure," stated ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood.
The report describes that by the time the ship had turned to shore, the crew restarted the engine, beaming on to the sea, while continuing to roll heavily.
The ship steadily gained pace, and the weather turned east and then south, until the crew decided to go north with the weather.
In addition, ATSB review of the container storage system revealed that the use of 'high cube' (2.9m/9ft 6in high) in the ship's aft-most container bay, bay 62, as opposed to standard height (2.6m/8ft 6in) containers affected the protection of the stow above the container cell guides. However, for this arrangement, the loading computer's lashing and forces tests did not reveal any conflicts.
A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.
Maritime Business World