Beachgoers and fishermen are being warned after a cargo ship lost more than 80 containers into the sea off the NSW Central Coast.
Roads and Maritime Services said in a statement 83 containers were lost overboard from the YM Efficiency, which was arriving from Taiwan, about 30 kilometres off the Central Coast.
It was hit by a five-metre swell when it passed near Newcastle on Thursday night.
The swell caused significant damage, with debris already washing up on beaches. Thirty containers were also damaged.
The extent of the damage to the YM Efficiency means it has been refused entry into Port Botany. It was still at sea on Friday night off Sydney.
There are no reports of injuries on board.
RMS executive director Angus Mitchell said the contents of the containers was unknown but it’s believed they don’t contain dangerous goods.
Two have already been sighted 100 metres offshore from Fingal Head and Boondelbah Island near Port Stephens.
It falls on the shipping vessel operator to now recover them.
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The RMS added everyone should be on the lookout for the “40-foot containers at sea and on shore”.
Anyone heading out on a boat will be made aware of possible navigation hazards via marine radio.
The Australian Maritime Authority along with the RMS is assisting the vessel’s agents to ensure the “safest recovery” of the containers.
Reports of container sightings can be made by calling triple-0 or the AMSA reporting hotline on 1800 641 792.