A total of 37 containers, which fell from the deck of the Liberian-flagged YM Efficiency on June 1, have been located on the sea floor off the coast of Newcastle.
According to a report from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the initial subsea search identified the containers and what appears to be associated debris in late July.
The search was conducted over a period of six days by the Port of Newcastle surveying vessel JT Gowlland on behalf of the YM Efficiency’s insurer, Aus Ship, and owner, Yang Ming.
The parties have agreed to continue survey operations to locate as many as 42 containers which are still missing. AMSA said that, once the remaining containers are located, it will be able to assess the risk they present to trawling operations in the area.
YM Efficiency lost 81 containers some 30 kilometres off the coast of New South Wales, while another 62 were damaged in the incident. The 4,250 TEU vessel was on its way from Kaohsiung, Taiwan to Port Botany in Australia, when it was hit by severe weather conditions.
According to an earlier report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), while the containership was in a position about 16 nautical miles east-south-east of Newcastle, it experienced a period of quick, heavy rolling for about 60 to 90 seconds prior to losing the boxes. The rolling was estimated by the ship’s master as having reached angles of up to 30º to port and starboard.