CONTAINER ship APL England has been released to sail to China after being released from detention at Brisbane by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. 

The ship is set to leave port with a new master and without cargo.

According to AMSA, their inspectors attended APL England and were satisfied the ship was fit to sail to China for repairs.

The ship’s previous master is facing multiple charges relating to the incident, but has been allowed to leave the ship and be repatriated home.

AMSA has received a formal written undertaking from the ship’s insurer, Steamship Mutual, that it will pay fines and other amounts that are agreed or imposed by a court in relation to AMSA’s costs regarding the incident.

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This commitment is for an amount up to $22.5m. 

AMSA has welcomed advice from the owners and insurer that they are in the early stages of tendering for a sonar search of about 1000km2 of water from the Illawarra to Sydney’s southern suburbs where it is believed multiple containers may have sunk.

However many containers are believed to have sunk in very deep water 40nm from the coast.

AMSA’s CEO Mick Kinley welcomed the moves by the insurer and owner.

“While it is unfortunate that this incident occurred in the first place, the early response by the owners and their insurers has been welcomed,” Mr Kinley said.

“The response to incidents like these don’t happen overnight, but this early commitment shows that the vessel’s owners and insurers intend to do what they can to ensure our seas remain safe and clean.”

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