Marine safety investigations & reports

Loss of containers overboard involving APL England, 37 NM east-south-east of Sydney, New South Wales, on 24 May 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating the loss of containers overboard from APL England in heavy weather, about 37 NM east-south-east of Sydney, NSW, on 24 May 2020.

At 0610 AEST, during heavy weather, the vessel’s main engine tripped, resulting in loss of propulsion for a short time. During this period, the vessel was rolling heavily—up to 25°—causing an unknown number of containers to fall on deck and into the sea.

As part of the investigation, investigators will attend the ship upon its safe arrival into port, and collect relevant evidence including interviewing directly involved parties.

Should any safety critical information be discovered at any time during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify operators and regulators so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

A final report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

General details
Date: 24 May 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0610 EST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 37 NM east-south-east of Sydney   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2021    

Vessel details

Vessel details
Operator ANL Australia  
Vessel APL England  
Flag Singapore  
IMO 9218650  
Sector Container  
Type of operation Commercial, cargo  
Damage to vessel Substantial  
Departure point Ningbo, China  
Destination Melbourne, Australia  
Last update 20 July 2020