TOPICS: Container shipping accident off the NSW Mid North Coast adds to a history of incidents

COLLAPSE: The damage on the YM Efficiency as it came into Botany Bay last week.
COLLAPSE: The damage on the YM Efficiency as it came into Botany Bay last week.

The container ship incident off the Mid North Coast last week added to a long list of cargo carrier accidents around the world. 

Most of the major incidents are considered environmental and commercial disasters.

Australians may recall the 236-metre container ship – Rena – which struck a reef in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty in 2011 carrying 1368 containers. 

The ship was moving at a speed of about 17 knots when it hit the reef as it sailed towards Tauranga. 

It ended up splitting in two after months of pounding from the sea. Salvors were forced to dismantle the wreck on the reef. 

BROKEN: The Rena in 2012 off the coast of New Zealand months after hitting a reef.

BROKEN: The Rena in 2012 off the coast of New Zealand months after hitting a reef.

The incident resulted in the release of about 200 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and the loss of some 300 cargo containers. New Zealand’s Prime Minister declared the wreck “the worst maritime disaster” in the country’s history.

An investigation found the captain had tried to take a shortcut unaware of the reef.

In 2013, a Mitsui O.S.K. Lines ship – MOL Comfort – sank in the Indian Ocean carrying more than 4000 containers.

The ship developed a catastrophic hog, which is when a ship curves up in the centre and sag at the ends as a result of strain. 

SNAPPED: MOL Comfort developed a hog and sank in the Indian Ocean in 2013.

SNAPPED: MOL Comfort developed a hog and sank in the Indian Ocean in 2013.

One half of the ship took 10 days to sink, while salvors later tried to tow the bow away. Unfortunately, It caught fire and eventually sank after several weeks. 

It is considered one of the worst container shipping disasters ever. 

All crew managed to be rescued, but an estimated 4,293 containers were lost.

The Hanjin Pennsylvania suffered a mystery on-board explosion back in 2002 off Sri Lanka, rendering the ship useless just one year after its maiden voyage. 

Travelling from Singapore to Germany, an explosion rocked the 282-meter vessel. 

But four days after the initial blast, undeclared containers filled with fireworks began exploding. 

Perhaps it saved using the flares. 

PROTEST GURUS 

Did you get along to hear from the Seeing Red Protest Panel at The Lock-Up in Newcastle on Saturday?

Titled ‘The personal to the political’, the evening was part of the HUNTER RED: SEEING RED exhibition running this month. 

The event was advertised as “community, environmental, anti-war and refugee activists” discussing “diverse approaches to protest and advocacy”.

One of the lead speakers was David Burgess, the man who painted the words ‘NO WAR’ on the Sydney Opera House in 2003. 

It turned out to be Australia’s most expensive graffiti fine – after Burgess and another man had to pay $151,000 for the cleaning bill. The duo also received nine months periodic detention for malicious damage.

Some of Burgess’ “memorabilia” from his anti-war protest are featured in the exhibit. 

Ponga off the market

Knights’ ace Kalyn Ponga has proved he’s just as smooth off the field as he is on it, locking in his date for the Dally M Awards four months in advance. 

The 20-year-old asked Newcastle breakfast radio host, Jess Farchione, live on-air if she’d join him at the NRL’s night of nights. 

Ponga appears weekly on the Hit 106.9 FM breakfast show and on Friday asked – after some encouragement from her co-hosts – Farchione, 27, to join him for the night.

“I didn’t mean to throw you under the bus,” host Simon Baggs told Farchione after practically setting up the date. 

The Knights fullback has been at the top of the Dally M Award’s leader board in recent weeks and could be a real chance to claim the medal should his form continue.