Aerial observation flights will be conducted today along the NSW coast on the look out for any new containers and debris from the APL England stirred up by this week’s gale force winds and hazardous surf conditions.

NSW Maritime A/ Executive Director Alex Barrell said in addition to ground clean up crews, two NSW Maritime teams will take to the skies to survey the coast from Sydney to Port Stephens in the north and south to Ulladulla.

“The kind of weather we have experienced this week, and which is continuing along NSW coastal waters, often stirs up the water column,” he said.

“If any debris is spotted during aerial sweeps, a plan will be put in place to collect it as quickly as possible to minimise risk to boaters and the environment, given the whereabouts of 35 of the 50 containers and contents lost overboard is still unknown.”

Mr Barrell said NSW Maritime will continue its surveillance and clean up of the coast over the long weekend, with increasing numbers of crews rostered on to respond to any issues.

“As always, but particularly leading in to a long weekend, the safety of boaters is paramount,” he said.

“Electronic messaging signs at key locations will remind the boating community to remain vigilant if heading out on the water, to maintain a safe speed and keep a proper lookout, as floating debris can be a navigational risk.”

Signs will be located in areas where containers and debris have been or are likely to be found, including:

North – Newcastle

  • Stockton North and South Boat ramps, Stockton
  • Soldiers Point Boat Ramp, Port Stephens
  • Carrington Boat Ramp, Newcastle
  • Blacksmiths Boat Ramp, Swansea

Sydney – Central Coast

  • Norah Head Boat Ramp, Central Coast
  • Terrigal Boat Ramp, Central Coast
  • Bayview Rowland Reserve Boat Ramp, Pittwater
  • Brooklyn Boat Ramp, Deerubbin Reserve, Hawkesbury River

Sydney – Harbour

  • Rose Bay Boat Ramp, Sydney Harbour
  • Tunks Park Boat Ramp, Middle Harbour
  • Roseville Boat Ramp, Middle Harbour

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  • Foreshore Drive Boat Ramp Botany

South – South Coast

  • Pork Kembla Boat Ramp
  • Kiama Boat Ramp
  • Greenwell Point Boat Ramp
  • Woolamia Boat Ramp

“We’ve also teamed up with Surf Life Saving clubs along the coast to get these important safety messages to the boating community. They will have notices on display, encouraging the community to contact NSW Maritime if they find any debris and will also be conducting their own routine surveillance to inform NSW Maritime if any debris is located,” Mr Barrell said.

Members of the public who see any suspected debris or shipping containers on NSW beaches should contact the NSW Maritime Info Line 13 12 36 (option 2) or report via email to

A map below shows where debris has been reported, current salvage operations, and places which have already been cleaned. This map will be updated daily.

View the Debris Recovery map.