The ship was detained on February 9, 2020 for failing to pay AUD 20 million (USD 13.4 million) of pollution debt after losing a total of 81 containers in 2019.
A day later, on February 10, however, the ship was released after significant resources and manpower were allocated to recover the containers.
“With regard to the YM Efficiency incident happened on June 1st 2018, Yang Ming and our insurer responded quickly … to the incident with the immediate allocation of very significant resources and manpower to the loss of the containers and their contents,” the company stated.
“Yang Ming has been ever since … working with the New South Wales Government to ensure all debris that could possibly be associated with the incident is cleaned up within hours of its being reported – even if it was not actually from cargo on the ship. These clean-up operations were at very large expense, all paid by Yang Ming and our insurer.
Together with the government of New South Wales and the AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority), sonar scans of the seabed were carried out. They came to the conclusion that it is less harmful to the environment if the containers remain as they are.
“Expert reports obtained by Yang Ming conclude that attempting to remove the containers will cause more risk of environmental damage than leaving them in place. The operations to remove the containers shall result in plastics within the containers being released into the ocean,” the company further said.