Shipping Containers Lost Overboard

A container vessel which has lost containers overboard for the second time in Australian waters has headed to Queensland while investigations are launched.


The APL England losing shipping containers overboard during wild seas.
Image Credit: The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

Forty shipping containers have fallen overboard into the sea off the NSW coast, after wild weather caused a cargo ship to become unstable on Sunday morning.

The vessel APL England was sailing from China to Melbourne in heavy weather when its main engine tripped just after 6am. By 10:45am on Sunday the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) was notified that a container ship had lost 40 containers about 73km southeast of Sydney.

Along with the lost containers, 74 were damaged, another six were protruding from the ship’s starboard side and three were protruding from the port side. While its power was down it was rolling heavily, causing multiple containers to fall off the deck into the water.

After the incident, the Singapore-flagged containership turned around and headed north to escape the big swell and wild weather. It was off the Gold Coast on Monday night, where it was inspected by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority by air. Some containers were spotted; however, efforts were hampered by bad weather and poor visibility.

This is not the first time the APL England has lost containers overboard in Australian waters. Previously it lost 37 containers in the Great Australian Bight in August 2016 due to heavy rolling in rough seas. It was under different management at that time. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has launched an investigation into the latest incident.

Consignees with import cargo on board the APL England should talk to their broker immediately, as we expect a general average will be declared.

As licensed Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders, Colless Young offers you professional advice on all your shipping and transport needs. We handle freight and clearance at all major ports around Australia.