Country for PR: Australia
Contributor: AAP Medianet International
Friday, May 08 2020 - 16:01
Container Recovery Operation a Complete Success
SYDNEY, May 8, 2020/ Medianet International/AsiaNet/--

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) led operation to recover 
containers lost from the YM Efficiency off the NSW coast is complete.

On Friday afternoon (8 May) the vessel MV Pride returned to Port of Newcastle 
for the final time to discharge containers and pollution recovered from the 
ocean floor.

The recovery operation began on April 3 and has seen 63 containers and tonnes 
of associated pollution successfully recovered from the ocean.

AMSA's General Manager of Response Mark Morrow said that the operation has been 
a complete success.

"The recovery teams have done a remarkable job in removing this pollution from 
our oceans in such a professional and efficient manner. We thank the seafarers 
from both Australia and overseas who have completed this work away from their 
homes and families in this time of a global pandemic.

"By recovering these containers and the tonnes of plastic and other rubbish 
contained inside we have ensured that future generations are not picking up 
Yang Ming's mess off the regions beaches for decades to come.

"This project was forecast to take a month and was done in 35 days, including 
7.5 days of delay for weather.

"Also, although originally expecting 60, we have recovered 63 containers, a 
remarkable result."

In December 2019, AMSA signed a contract with Ardent Oceania to undertake the 
clean-up operation. 

Ardent's approach utilised a custom manufactured steel basket which was lowered 
to the ocean floor where remotely operated underwater vehicles assisted in 
transferring the containers and associated rubbish into the basket to be 
brought on board the ship.

The offshore construction vessel MV Pride made four trips to port to discharge 
the recovered containers, which were processed at a specially constructed 
facility and recycled where possible.

The final six containers will now be processed at the facility within Port of 
Newcastle operated by AVCON projects before the site is decommissioned.

The total cost of the recovery operation to remove and dispose of 63 containers 
is about $17 million, which, unless recovered, will be funded from levies 
collected from the shipping industry.

Since this pollution event occurred in June 2018 AMSA has attempted to engage 
with the Taiwanese owners of the YM Efficiency, Yang Ming, about their ongoing 
responsibility to remove the remaining containers from the seafloor.

AMSA's Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley said that this operation has finally 
exposed Yang Ming and their insurer's arguments against removing this pollution 
as nonsense.

"Yang Ming and their insurers Britannia P&I have tried every trick in the book 
to attempt to shirk their responsibilities to clean up their mess.

"They said that attempting to remove these containers was dangerous. That was 

"They said trying to remove them would cause more damage to the environment. 
That was wrong.

"They said that these containers and their contents aren't pollution. There 
have been tonnes of garbage that show that was wrong too.

"Yang Ming are out of excuses and they should pay up."

AMSA has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court to recover all costs 
associated with the recovery operation from Yang Ming and their insurers.

Note: photo and video of the recovery operation for publication are available

SOURCE: Australian Maritime Safety Authority

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