Tonnes of sanitary pads wash up on NSW beach
TONNES of sanitary towels, nappies and surgical masks are washing up on NSW beaches after shipping containers began spilling from a stricken ship.
Dramatic images show the containers imploding and crumbling into the ocean, off the coast of NSW, on Friday.
NSW Maritime confirmed the loss, during a day of choppy weather in the Tasman Sea, on Facebook.
"83 shipping containers were lost overboard from the ship YM Efficiency about 30 kilometres off the NSW Central Coast. Boaters are warned that debris and possibly containers are now creating navigation hazards around Newcastle and Port Stephens areas."
The YM Efficiency was making its way from Taiwan to Sydney on Thursday night when it encountered heavy swell which should prevent it from docking there until Sunday, reported AAP.
There are reports there was sell in excess of nine meters off the coast.
Roads and Maritime Services said two containers were spotted about 100 metres off Fingal Head and Boondelbah Island, near Port Stephens, while sections of another container were found on rocks at Yacaaba Headland.
A helicopter scoured the coastline on Saturday for the 40-foot containers while nappies, surgical masks and plastic containers are among the first debris to wash up on Jimmys Beach and Rocky Point.
The ship was operated by the Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation and a spokeswoman said there were no dangerous goods or contaminants inside.
"There is no security concern about the condition of the vessel," she said in a statement to AAP.