Warning over items washing up on beaches after ship loses cargo container

Authorities are warning beachgoers not to help themselves to any of the tonnes of good which are expected to wash ashore in the coming days after 83 containers fell from a cargo ship near Newcastle.

The YM Efficiency was carrying everything from cabinets to bikes, whitegoods and food.

Authorities have warned it’s not finders-keepers for anyone coming across the washed-up items.

Roads and Maritime Services’s Angus Mitchell said the only thing he’s heard of washing up on the NSW coast so far is toilet paper and nappies, along with car parts, pallets and plastic wrapping spotted between Newcastle and Port Stephens.

A packet of adult diapers sits on a NSW beach. Source: 7 News
A packet of adult diapers sits on a NSW beach. Source: 7 News

He added “there is a risk” 30 containers still damaged on the YM Efficiency could also fall off. The containers currently out at sea are also “impossible to spot” due to the weather, he said.

The ship is currently 20 kilometres off the coast and the worsening weather means it still isn’t safe enough to come into port. Its Taiwanese owners, Yang Ming, are negotiating where it will go for unloading and repairs.

Once it does come into port it will be inspected by maritime safety investigators who have the power, if necessary, to detain the vessel until the required repairs are complete.

They will scrutinise how the containers were secured and the actions of the crew.

A container dangles precariously from the YM Efficiency. Source: 7 News
A container dangles precariously from the YM Efficiency. Source: 7 News
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