Container ship APL England (IMO 9218650) has left the port of Brisbane after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) cleared the ship to depart for repairs in Zhoushan, China, with an ETA of June 30th.The ship left during the evening of June 19th, with a new Master and without cargo. AMSA inspectors were satisfied that the ship was fit to sail to China. The ship’s previous Master, Captain Mohamad Zulkhaili Bin Alias, has returned home. He was charged earlier this month with two offences related to discharging garbage into the sea and failure to ensure his vessel was operated in a safe manner. The charges carry maximum penalties in excess of A$300,000.
AMSA had received a formal written undertaking from International Group club Steamship Mutual that it would pay fines and other amounts that are agreed or imposed by a court in relation to AMSA’s costs in responding to the incident, for an amount up to $22.5m.
The authority welcomed the advice from the owners and insurer that they were in the early stages of tendering for a sonar search of about 1000 sq/km of water from the Illawarra to Sydney’s southern suburbs, the sector in which it was believed that multiple containers might have sunk.
The ship lost about 50 containers overboard and dozens more were damaged after the ship lost propulsion in heavy weather off the coast of Sydney on Sunday May 24th. The ship was able to restore power and arrived at the Port of Brisbane where it was put under detention.
An AMSA inspection of the ship was reported to have revealed that lashing arrangements for cargo were inadequate and securing points for containers on the deck of the ship were heavily corroded.
AMSA General Manager Response Mark Morrow last week said 15 containers had been recovered from the shoreline or towed in after being spotted floating off the coast, but 35 containers were still missing. AMSA’s CEO Mick Kinley said that, while it was “unfortunate that this incident occurred in the first place, the early response by the owners and their insurers has been welcomed”, adding that “the response to incidents like these don’t happen overnight, but this early commitment shows that the vessel’s owners and insurers intend to do what they can to ensure our seas remain safe and clean”.
2001-built, Singapore-flagged, 65,792 gt APL England is owned by CMB Ocean 13 Leasing Co Pte care of manager APL Co Pte Ltd of Singapore. ISM manager is CMA CGM International Shipping of Singapore. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (European Syndicate) on behalf of CMB Ocean 13 Leasing Co Pte Ltd.