Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. has confirmed that its vessel YM Eternity has been released from arrest on 11 February 2020 and normal cargo operations have been resumed immediately.
The YM Eternity was arrested in Sydney on 10 February with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) claiming that the company owed money for the pollution by 60 containers lost by the company's sister ship,YM Efficiency incident happened in June 1st 2018.
Yang Ming and its insurer responded to the arrest with the immediate allocation of "significant resources" and manpower to the loss of the containers and their contents, according to Yang Ming said in a statement.
The company added it has been committed to keeping the Hunter Coast pristine and 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 its insurer, stated the Taiwanese shipping company.
Yang Ming, in association with New South Wales Government and AMSA, organised for sonar scanning of the sea floor commencing after the incident and that has continued subject to weather and safety considerations since.
The liner operator said all of the containers lying on the sea floor are in deep water (about 120m) with most of the containers lying outside of the Australian territorial waters.
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, according to the company. The operations to remove the containers shall result in plastics within the containers being released into the ocean and as a consequence, these experts have recommended the containers are best left on the sea floor pending further monitoring of the release of plastics from the containers.
The shipping company said it regrets any inconvenience to Australians and apologises for the conduct of AMSA in arresting the YM Eternity in a way that caused unnecessary and maximum inconvenience to Sydney customers on a Sunday and without any notice.