Using predictive tools to locate containers from the YM Efficiency

Giovanna Lorenzin1

1Australian Maritime Safety Authority, ,

AMSA commonly uses a variety of predictive modelling and mapping tools to support emergency response operations during a maritime event. These are essential to ensure resources are effectively utilised and specifically target areas that could be impacted during the event. Most often, these are used to model oil spill trajectories, drifting vessels, or persons lost at sea. However, it was recently also used to assist in locating missing containers from the container ship YM Efficiency.
On 1 June 2018, the vessel encountered bad weather approximately 30 kilometres southeast of Newcastle, and consequently lost 81 containers overboard, with an additional 30 moved or damaged on board. AMSA undertook coordination of the underwater search for the missing containers, and to address the complex issue, the question it asked was: where are they and where do we start looking?
AMSA used object drift modelling to help identify the approximate trajectories of where the containers would have floated to, if still buoyant. This modelling was then used as the basis with which to determine the search areas for the underwater side-scan and Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROUV) surveys. Over the course of several months, the surveys undertaken at the predicted search areas successfully located and confirmed several containers. The locations of where some were found washed ashore also agreed with the initial predictions, making all these results reinforce the reliability and accuracy of the initial modelling.
This presentation will go through how these predictive tools effectively assisted in guiding the search for the lost containers from the YM Efficiency.

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