YM Efficiency sister ship 'arrested' over shipping container clean-up debt

The sister ship of a cargo vessel which lost 81 shipping containers off the NSW mid-north coast in 2018 is being held in Sydney over a multi-million-dollar pollution debt.

Key points:

  • The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) petitioned the Court Admiralty to recover the debt
  • Sixty containers will be recovered in March but a further 15 remain unaccounted for
  • AMSA estimates the total cost of the clean-up will hit £20 million once the remaining containers are found

Containers on The YM Efficiency went overboard near Newcastle, causing debris to wash up on beaches throughout the region. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the cost of the clean-up could hit £20 million, however the YM Efficiency’s owner, Taiwanese shipping company Yang Ming, had refused to pay. AMSA said early this morning the Court Admiralty Marshall arrested the YM Eternity at Port Botany after it petitioned the court to recover the outstanding debt.

AMSA chief executive Mick Kinley said the arrest of YM Eternity showed the marine authority would not allow international shipping companies to pollute Australian waters without consequence. “If you pollute our waters and refuse to pay the price of cleaning up that pollution, we will hold you accountable,” he said. “Our ocean won’t pay the price of Yang Ming’s pollution — Yang Ming will.”

YM Efficiency sister ship 'arrested' over shipping container clean-up debt

Sixty shipping containers remain on the sea floor off the Newcastle coast, and a further 15 containers are yet to be found.

Work to recover the 60 located containers will begin in March and is expected to be completed within a month.

Nappies, sanitary products and surgical masks were among the items that washed up on the beach in the wake of the incident.

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