Maritime authorities say the shipping containers lost off the NSW coast may never be found, as the Taiwanese shipping company responsible for transporting them vows to foot the clean-up bill.
Only one of the 83 containers lost in wild seas off Port Stephens on Friday has been recovered.
Director of NSW Maritime Services Angus Mitchell said debris from that single container had already filled 30 skip bins.
The ship carrying the containers, the YM Efficiency, finally limped into Port Botany on Wednesday morning looking the worse for wear, with busted and broken containers barely hanging on.
The shipping company, Yang Ming, has found itself in the eye of a storm after the contents began washing up along the NSW coast.
Among the tonnes of debris are nappies, car parts, and even emu oil.
But the Taiwanese shipping company says they’re not dangerous goods.
“We try everything to minimise the impact to the residents and also the marine environment,” Yang Ming’s managing director Steven Ka said.
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What’s still in the ocean is of more concern to whale-watching operators.
“I think it’s going to be a bit of a disaster that will take months or years to be finally cleared up”, whale cruise operator Frank Future said.
A close examination into the safety requirements that failed will be underway.
Authorities want to be assured before it leaves Port Botany that its load is fully secured.
Until then, the YM Efficiency is detained dockside.