Container search behind schedule after bad weather causes delays: shipping containers from YM Efficiency lost overboard off Port Stephens

There has been further delays in the search for shipping containers lost overboard in the waters off Port Stephens.

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority sub-sea survey to locate the missing containers was due to wrap up earlier this month, but poor weather and sea conditions have pushed the search schedule back.

The survey is now due to finish this week, if conditions remain safe enough to send the hydrographic survey vessel out to sea.

Clean up of debris continues, with 1039 cubic metres salvaged across Port Stephens and the Mid North Coast.

It has been more than 40 days since the YM Efficiency lost 81 containers overboard in the waters off the Hunter’s coastline. 

NSW Maritime staff overseeing clean-up operations reportedly met with the Professional Fisherman Association and a number of select trawler operators last week. The plan is to overlay container location mapping with the trawler operator’s data to look for priority search areas. 

Representatives from the NSW Department of Primary Industries also attended the meeting to advise on expectations and priorities in areas within NSW state waters and within the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park and Solitary Islands Maritime Parks. 

In June it was reported up to 50 containers, broken apart or intact, had been identified during the sea floor search.

“The search has been successful so far but hampered by poor weather,” an AMSA statement said.

“Search operations are expected to be completed later this week.”

Data will then be processed by the surveyors with the final verification expected about a week after the survey is completed.

Ongoing maritime safety information is being provided by Marine Rescue in local broadcasts.

Community members are encouraged to continue to report debris on 13 12 36, selecting option two. For further information visit


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