The cargo ship that lost 83 shipping containers in rough seas causing debris to wash up across the New South Wales mid-north coast will be brought in to dock at Sydney’s Port Botany on Tuesday.
Sydney’s harbour master Philip Holliday said the ship was currently off the coast near Gerroa in the Illawarra and would be berthed “under slow and careful assessment” during daylight hours.
The 268-metre Liberian-flagged ship, YM Efficiency, lost about 83 containers about 30 kilometres off the coast near Port Stephens on Thursday, with debris including car parts, nappies, sanitary products, and clock washing up around the Nelson Bay area over the past few days.
Mr. Holliday said poor weather meant it had been unsafe for the ship to dock over the weekend.
“She was riding out the weather over the last couple of days so just really maintaining a course to minimise the roll of the ship,” he said on Monday.
“Now as the weather’s easing all the time, she has turned around and is heading slowly back up so that she’ll be in a position to take the pilot off Port Botany tomorrow.”
Mr Holliday said it had not yet been decided whether the pilot would board the ship via a small launch, as was normal procedure, or whether it would be safer for the pilot to board via helicopter.
“Our role here now as the port authority is to make sure that the ship is brought in safely and we’ll do that under daylight hours under slow and careful assessment and we’ll get the ship alongside tomorrow and hopefully life will return to normal,” he said on Monday.
“We anticipate that she’ll be there for a number of days while the slow and careful operation to recover the boxes that are currently damaged and onboard gets underway and completed.