A preliminary inspection of cargo ship APL England, which lost 40 containers in rough seas, has discovered a major defect and serious concerns with how the load was secured. Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) inspectors found lashing arrangements were inadequate and securing points on the deck of the ship were heavily corroded.
ASMA general manager of operations, Allan Schwartz, says the inspection is continuing but the findings so far are in breach of maritime safety regulations. He says the ship has been detained at the Port of Brisbane.
“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 (APL), and operator to rectify,” he says. “These findings will form part of AMSA’s ongoing investigation and, 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.”
Schwartz said the ship’s owner and its insurer, Steamship Mutual, should take responsibility for remediating any impacts of this incident.
Some 40 containers went overboard when the ship struck rough seas, while about 70 other containers were displaced, forcing the vessel, which was en route from China to Melbourne, to dock in Brisbane.
ANL, the operator of APL England, says it is cooperating with all investigators while a clean-up operation is underway and none of the containers that fell into the ocean contained dangerous cargo.