THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority has officially detained the APL England in Brisbane, citing inadequate lashing arrangements.
As previously reported in Daily Cargo News, APL England lost 40 containers over the side of the NSW coast on Sunday, with another 74 containers damaged.
The Singapore-flagged ship that was sailing from Ningbo in China to Melbourne changed course after the incident and is now at Port of Brisbane.
AMSA general manager of operations Allan Schwartz said the authority’s inspection of the ship was ongoing but had already revealed lashing arrangements for cargo were inadequate and securing points for containers on the deck of the ship were “heavily corroded”.
“These findings constitute a clear breach of a requirement under SOLAS to ensure that a ship and its equipment are maintained so as not to present a risk to the safety of the ship itself or anyone on board the ship,” Mr Schwartz said.
“The detention will not be lifted until these serious deficiencies are rectified. That is now a matter for the ship’s owner, American President Lines, and operator to rectify.”
The ship is being operated by ANL.
Mr Schwartz said these findings would form part of AMSA’s ongoing investigation.
“While we do not want to pre-empt the outcomes of that investigation, it is already clear that the risk of this container loss occurring could have been reduced,” he said.
Mr Schwartz said AMSA expected the ship owner and its insurer, Steamship Mutual, to take full responsibility.
“We’re pleased to hear news today that the insurer is engaging contractors to retrieve some of the floating containers,” Mr Schwartz said.
Last night AMSA’s Challenger search jet surveyed the New South Wales coastline to help in locating and identifying semi-submerged containers.
A spokesperson for ANL said the ship was berthed safely at Australian Amalgamated Terminals in Brisbane with discharge of the vessel’s cargo to begin on Friday morning.
“ANL continues to work closely with the relevant authorities to retrieve cargo which fell overboard and is cooperating fully with all investigations into the cause of the event,” the spokesperson said.
“ANL is committed to preserving the environment and, as previously announced, has appointed an expert in environmental clean-ups. The contractor has been removing surface debris on NSW shorelines since yesterday.”
According to ANL, multiple teams, working with authorities, have been conducting land and aerial surveys.