NSW Coast Clean-Up Continues After Spill

July 16, 2020 Updated: July 16, 2020

Crews are continuing to clean up face masks and plastic food containers along the NSW coastline almost two months after 50 shipping containers were lost off the APL England.

The containers went overboard the Singapore-flagged ship in heavy seas south of Sydney on May 24.

By early June 16 of the 50 containers had been accounted for with 45 beaches inspected and cleaned.

Clean-up crews led by NSW Maritime have been deployed once again after a number of confirmed sightings of more debris from the ship on Wednesday and Thursday, a statement from Transport for NSW said.

Sea conditions and recent wild weather seem to have stirred up containers on the ocean floor, NSW Maritime acting executive director Alex Barrell said.

“We have multiple teams now cleaning up the shipping container parts, face masks and plastic food containers which have recently washed up at Cronulla and Boat Harbour, and around the Royal National Park at Burning Palms, Garie and Era Beaches,” Barrell said in a statement on Thursday.

Debris has also washed ashore at Forresters Beach and Maitland Bay on the state’s Central Coast and as far away as Lord Howe Island, he said.

He urged skippers to remain vigilant and keep a lookout for submerged, semi-submerged or floating container pieces.

Modelling is being used to figure out the likely impacts and as a result increased inspections are being performed.

By Heather McNab in Sydney