Captain of APL England charged over lost containers
The captain of Singapore-flagged APL England is facing charges in Australia after the vessel lost hundreds of containers overboard in rough seas off the Sydney coast last week under his orders.
As a result of poor cargo loading, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the offenses relate to pollution and/or damage to the marine environment.
APL England's 5,510 TEU capacity had been on its way from Ningbo, China to Melbourne last Sunday when a temporary loss of propulsion left the 277-meter vessel rolling in heavy seas causing many container stacks to fall across approximately 73 kilometers southeast of Sydney.
The captain of the ship initially said that 40 containers had been lost into the sea and 74 more had been destroyed on board. AMSA says at least 50 containers have fallen overboard.
APL England was detained at the Port of Brisbane on Wednesday after inspectors at AMSA found insufficient cargo lashing procedures and highly corroded container securing points on deck that had potentially led to the spill.
According to AMSA, twenty-six of the dropped containers are assumed to be empty while another 24 carry a variety of items including plastic packaging and wrapping, plastic ducting, baby seats, face masks, shoes, bakeware, shovels, rubber lane separators, car seat coverings, handwash, breadcrumbs, furniture and pet accessories. To date, one container total and 13 empties have been retrieved.
AMSA said it was working with NSW Maritime to find the remaining missing boxes and respond to impacts from the shoreline. Surgical masks and other items were found washed up on Australian shores from the abandoned containers.
The ship will be detained until its deficiencies in cargo storage have been resolved and, on Friday, it put an additional condition on the owner of the ship under the Seas Security Act, which must be met before it is released.
Maritime Business World