MEDIA RELEASE- Five shipping containers wash ashore near Norah Head

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Five shipping containers wash ashore near Norah Head


Five 40-foot shipping containers are the largest of the debris so far to have washed ashore in NSW after a container ship lost part of its load 73 kilometres off Sydney on Sunday.

 NSW Maritime A/ Executive Director Alex Barrell said the containers, locked together in a row, were located this morning at Birdie Beach near Norah Head.

 Another five containers, also locked together, have been sighted during aerial surveillance off Terrigal as well as a single floating container off Wollongong, all of which will be collected by authorities.

 “Under NSW emergency management arrangements, NSW Maritime is the lead agency responsible for managing the shoreline clean up,” Mr Barrell said.

 “We have had our staff working around the clock to attend reported locations of debris on our beaches and NSW Maritime has today appointed two contractors to lead the collection, with a workforce of 60 people. This is expected to increase as more debris comes ashore.

 “This is a big job but we have good experience in responding to these kinds of incidents.

 “Marine services firms Varley and AVCON each have teams of 20 trained staff who are joining our teams in the collection and safe disposal of this debris.”

 Mr Barrell reminded community members to report sightings of debris rather than collect it themselves so it can be logged and disposed of correctly.

 “Boat operators should continue to be on the lookout for the any floating or semi-submerged containers, which would present a navigational hazard,” he said.

 Flexible ducting, medical face masks and yellow foam has washed up on beaches as far south as Wollongong and as far north as Catherine Hill Bay.

 The Cargo ship APL England lost 40 containers 73 kilometres south east of Sydney on Sunday. The vessel had been travelling from China and was en route to Melbourne. It will docked at the Port of Brisbane today.

 Twenty-one of the containers lost at sea are empty, according to the ship’s records.

 The ship’s cargo manifest indicates there are no dangerous or hazardous goods among the container contents, which include bar stools, food dehydrators, medical face masks, shields and goggles, furniture, range hoods, gazebos and cat furniture.

 Members of the public who see any suspected debris or shipping containers on NSW beaches should contact the NSW Maritime Info Line 13 12 36 or report via email to


and below from Marine Rescue NSW

Boaters on the NSW coastline between Wollongong and Newcastle are urged to travel at a safe speed and keep a careful lookout for drifting or semi-submerged containers and debris following the cargo spill off Sydney on Sunday morning.

Forty containers were lost from the APL England.

The Marine Rescue Port KemblaMarine Rescue Terrey Hills and Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie radio bases are continuing to broadcast Securite warnings to all boats twice an hour to warn of the serious navigation hazard.

Containers have been located floating or semi-submerged 17nm off Kiama and debris reported up to 4 nm seaward from The Entrance at Tuggerah Lake. These pose a particular risk of causing severe damage to smaller craft.

Containers and debris have been located in various locations, including Birdie Beach and Forresters Beach on the Central Coast, Flagstaff Lighthouse in the Illawarra and Store Beach in Sydney Harbour.

Boaters should continue to listen for warnings on VHF Channel 16. Any sighting of containers should be reported to NSW Maritime on 13 12 36.



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Posted (edited)

Tell me about it. My wife and her friends go there for coffee. Guess what she arrived home with a bundle of face masks.Sealed.


Edited by Rebel

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