ANL chief executive Xavier Eiglier says the company is working with maritime and local authorities to ensure an effective clean-up following the APL England container spillage.

Some 50 containers fell overboard in rough seas off the NSW coast on 24 May.

“We have worked very closely with all parties right from the start,” Mr Eiglier said.

“This cooperative approach has been a very important facilitator, for example, to the excellent progress we have made with regards to the clean-up.

“Working alongside the New South Wales maritime authorities we have, to date, cleaned 45 beaches and will continue this work. We will maintain our efforts with all stakeholders with a view to having the best outcome for all concerned.”

ADVERTISEMENT  

Mr Eiglier said the containers fell overboard at least 40 nautical miles from the NSW shoreline and most likely sank to a depth of 3000metres (1640 fathoms), meaning they were unlikely to pose any danger to marine vessels.

“Safety is still a priority and ANL will work with the owner of the vessel to minimize the possibility of any risk to mariners, fishermen or local communities,” he said.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation.”

Mr Eiglier said the vessel was now empty, with all remaining containers safely discharged from the vessel on Wednesday 17 June.

Some 15 containers have been recovered to date and an invitation to tender is being prepared in order to appoint experts in additional sonar searches.

The objective of this sonar search is to locate containers which could represent a danger to mariners or commercial fishing operations.

“With the help of professional clean up support and the local and maritime authorities we have been checking for debris on land or at sea,” Mr Eiglier said.

“This has been very important in terms of safety, and of course as part of our commitment to cleaning debris coming ashore along the New South Wales coastline. It is a big ongoing job that we intend to keep progressing.”

ADVERTISEMENT