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Container ship waits off Sunshine Coast after losing cargo into sea

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A Singapore-flagged ship that lost about 40 shipping containers is anchored off the Sunshine Coast and is being inspected by maritime safety officials.

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The container ship APL England lost the cargo in rough seas on Sunday of the NSW coast while en route from China to Melbourne.

The incident had forced the ship to turn around and head toward Brisbane.

Television news footage showed several containers hanging precariously over the edge of the ship.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority officers have boarded the vessel, which is anchored in Moreton Bay near Maroochydore.

“A surveyor is conducting a seaworthiness inspection while it is in anchor,” an AMSA spokesperson told AAP on Tuesday.

“The outcome of that inspection will help inform if and how the ship might be brought safely into port in conjunction with Maritime Safety Queensland.”

It’s estimated, at the earliest, the ship will dock in Brisbane either late tonight or early tomorrow morning.

The APL England suffered a temporary loss of propulsion during heavy seas about 75km southeast of Sydney, which caused it to roll.

A few dozen containers tumbled overboard in waters about 2km deep while another 74 were damaged, leaving nine containers protruding from the ship’s starboard and port sides.

AMSA planes on Sunday searched for containers and cargo debris in the water without success.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was also notified and will investigate.

The APL England – under different management – previously lost 37 containers in the Great Australian Bight in August 2016, also due to heavy rolling in rough seas.

-AAP

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