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June 2 2018,  More debris is expected to wash onto beaches along the New South Wales coastline after a cargo ship lost 83 containers.

Nappies and surgical masks have already washed ashore after the Liberian ship lost it's cargo in extreme weather on Thursday.

New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services executive director Angus Mitchell said the containers were believed to have fallen overboard from the 268-metre YM Efficiency about 30 kilometres off the NSW Central Coast in Commonwealth waters.

"While the contents of the containers are unknown, we understood they do not contain dangerous goods," Mr Mitchell said. He said ships had been known to lose cargo in the past.

Roads and Maritime advised anyone boating off the north coast this weekend to "be on alert for debris" after the containers toppled from the cargo ship.

Two containers from the 83 that fell have already been sighted about 100 metres offshore from Fingal Bay and Boondelbah Island near Port Stephens.

"A full manifest of the cargo on board the vessel and the condition of the vessel is being sought," Mr Mitchell said.

Another 30 containers onboard the vessel were reported to be severely damaged.

Recovery and removal of these containers is the responsibility of the vessel operator.

Boaters were being made aware of possible navigation hazards on marine radio.

Members of the public should report any sightings of the 12 metre containers to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority reporting hotline on 1800 641 792.
Roads and Maritime said it was working with the AMSA and the vessel's agents and insurers to ensure the safest recovery of the containers.

The ship is currently located 12 nautical miles off the coast of the Northern beaches. It was expected to dock this afternoon, as authorities wait for improved weather.