Hazardous weather impacts NSW coastline but does not hamper clean up effort

2 June 2020

Despite gale force winds and hazardous surf conditions forecast to continue into at least tomorrow across NSW, around 100 people are continuing efforts to clean up debris and containers along the NSW coast.

NSW Maritime A/ Executive Director Alex Barrell said NSW Maritime and crews have been working hard at multiple salvage sites between Port Stephens and the Illawarra to remove debris from the APL England as quickly as possible to minimise risks to boaters and the environment generally.

“The safety of boaters is paramount and we ask that caution is taken if heading out on the water as floating debris can be a navigational risk. Over the long weekend, variable messaging signs will be at key locations to remind the boating community to remain vigilant for any floating or submerged containers,” Mr Barrell said.

Of the 50 containers lost overboard, 24 were empty refrigerated containers and 26 contained a variety of goods.

“Sixteen containers are now accounted for – either recovered and disposed of by our crews, or in the process of being recovered and disposed of. All except one of these is an empty refrigerated container,” he said.

“The shipping container which washed up on rocks south of Maroubra Beach on Sunday has now been dismantled and removed for safe disposal.

“At Bateau Bay we’ve had multiple crews working on the successful removal of five containers since they came ashore last week. 

“With many containers still unaccounted for we still have a big job ahead of us.

“Clean-up of debris in the area is expected to continue over the next few weeks and dependent on weather, NSW Maritime recovery crews plan to carry out some more aerial surveillance from as early as Friday.”

Members of the public who see any suspected debris or shipping containers on NSW beaches should contact the NSW Maritime Info Line 13 12 36 (option 2) or report via email to incident@transport.nsw.gov.au.

A map below shows where debris has been reported, current salvage operations, and places which have already been cleaned. This map will be updated daily.

View the Debris Recovery map.

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