AMSA has taken the next step in the ongoing battle to clean-up containers lost overboard from the YM Efficiency by announcing a tender for salvage operations. The tender opened today calling for salvage and offshore construction operators to remove containers and safely dispose of them onshore. Interested parties have until mid-September to apply.
Once a salvage operator has been contracted, AMSA will hold information sessions with the local community to consult with them on how the operation will be conducted. It is anticipated that the salvage operation will start early next year.
CEO Mick Kinley said AMSA is once again stepping in as Yang Ming and their insurers have consistently failed beyond the initial response, to initiate clean-up action in a timely and meaningful manner.
“We are disappointed by the lack of action to clean up this mess. Yang Ming have both a moral and legal responsibility to recover their pollution from our coastal environment.
“Leaving the containers in the sea poses an unacceptable environmental risk for the local community and future generations and presents safety risks for local fishers.
“Our lack of satisfaction with the company’s performance was further tested in July when an AMSA targeted inspection identified another of Yang Ming’s ships, YM Eternity, arriving in Australia without some of its cargo properly loaded and secured. AMSA detained that vessel and is considering further action” Mr Kinley said.
This is not the first time AMSA has had to initiate action for the clean-up of the containers. In November 2018, AMSA contracted a remotely operated underwater vehicle operator to conduct a subsea search for the containers and the debris field.
The search identified 66 containers, five have been removed and 15 are yet to be found. Video from the search shows that some of the containers are severely damaged, with large sections of the containers and their contents spread across a big area.
“We will be carefully monitoring any risks on the marine environment during the salvage process.”
“While it may not be realistically possible to recover all the containers and associated debris AMSA is committed to finding the best possible outcome with consideration to the full range of stakeholders affected by this incident.” Mr Kinley said.
AMSA intends to pursue the recovery of all costs associated with the clean-up from Yang Ming and their insurers.