RETRIEVAL work has begun with the first of 60 shipping containers lost from box ship YM Efficiency successfully lifted from the seabed off the Newcastle coast this week, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority says.

The subsea lift of the first container occurred around 9am Monday using a hydraulic crane and rigging, remote underwater vehicles and a specially manufactured steel basket.

The first container is understood to be carrying furniture products. It was brought to the surface intact but will not be opened until brought ashore to the waste processing facility.


The container was successfully lifted from the ocean bed, transferred into the basket and safely on-board the salvage vessel MV Pride without any further release of pollution into the environment. 

The MV Pride is reported to have begun salvage work in clear weather with a moderate swell and slight seas, at the site of the main cluster of containers off the Hunter Coast in New South Wales.

Operation Recovery – YM Efficiency is set to continue throughout April, weather conditions permitting.