A shipping container first sighted 30 nautical miles north east of Mooloolaba has washed ashore on Moreton Island. However questions remain unanswered about the role the Australian Maritime Safety Authority should play when hazardous objects were reported adrift at sea.
Federal Fisher MP Andrew Wallace said AMSA had investigated the container’s origin and Maersk shipping line had offered to take responsibility for its removal from Moreton Island.
“AMSA is working constructively with Maritime Safety Queensland and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure the container is removed safely,” Mr Wallace said.
AMSA received three reports of lost shipping containers in 2017 and on each occasion, rather than remove the hazard it followed a process of notification. A spokesperson for the Authority said shipping operators were responsible for the salvage of lost cargo.
“AMSA’s response to reports of navigational hazards is to issue broadcasts warning mariners of the potential risks,” the spokesperson said. The safety authority first received reports of the adrift shipping container on Friday and issued a broadcast to shipping warning of the navigation hazard.
After it received further information on Saturday including the coordinates for the container a further broadcast to shipping was relayed via AMSA’s shore-to-ship broadcast communications network.
It also was relayed to Maritime Safety Queensland so it could be passed on to water police and Mooloolaba Coast Guard to be broadcast to local vessels via radio channels. The spokesperson said AMSA also alerted local harbour masters and the vessel traffic service.
(Source: Sunshine Coast Daily)
Sea News, March 8