ADDRESSING a dozen interested residents Wednesday 5 February in Tea Gardens, Scott Wilson from Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) set out the next stage of Operation Recovery YM Efficiency containers overboard.
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The project team from AMSA, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Ardent salvage who are contracted to recover 60 identified containers of the 81 that went overboard, five have already been recovered with another sixteen yet to be located, were on hand to update the community and take questions.
Scott said, “AMSA is committed to get these containers out of the environment and make the ocean bed cleaner than what it is now.”
Commencing late March 2020 Ardent will be using a purpose designed offshore salvage vessel, MV Pride complete with two cranes and two remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROUV) which will provide guidance required to firstly manage crane wires, cut drainage holes and pick up any loose debris.
A custom-made metal basket just larger than a container will be used to hold each container, intact or broken whilst being hauled to the surface.
Drew Shannon from Ardent said, “Each container is drained of water, thoroughly washed down of any barnacles before being brought on board and then processed, recycling is then carried out with as much of the material as possible, it is our intention to leave no debris and bring no further harm.”
Ardent have a wealth of experience in underwater salvage, their last job involved picking up 145 containers off the Dutch coast.
The cost of this clean-up project is estimated at $15.6 million being paid for by AMSA to get the job done, with AMSA then looking to Yang Ming, the ship’s owners to meet those costs.
Early Sunday morning 9 February AMSA arrested the YM Eternity sister ship to YM Efficiency at Port Botany after it petitioned the court to recover the outstanding debt.
The arrest of YM Eternity showed the marine authority would not allow international shipping companies to pollute Australian waters without consequence.
Residents identifying debris that may be from containers on the foreshore are encouraged to report on 13 12 36.
By Sandra CLARK