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Diver plucks debris from ocean after shipping containers fall overboard

Leaning over the side of his boat, diver Dean Croop scoops up a pack of surgical masks floating in the blue waters along Australia’s east coast.

Wrapped in plastic, the packet of PPE gear is just one of scores currently bobbing in the Pacific Ocean.

“I’ve got it right here,” the underwater cinematographer from Sydney says in an Instagram video before he almost falls overboard.
Dean Cropp leans overboard as he scoops up yet another packet of surgical masks.
Dean Cropp leans overboard as he scoops up yet another packet of surgical masks. (Instagram: barefootcaptain)

“We’re passing heaps of these as we sail north. Lots and lots and lots of them. They’re everywhere. We picked up a bunch already. It’s so sad to see.

“These are going to become a real environmental disaster for the east coast of Australia.”

Mr Cropp’s warning comes after 40 shipping containers fell off the Singapore flagged-cargo ship, APL England, on Sunday in rough seas about 73 kilometres southeast off Sydney.

Forty containers fell overboard and at least 70 were damaged. (Nine)

It is believed 21 of those were empty.

Some of the containers were full of PPE gear like surgical masks, medical supplies, household appliances and building materials.

Mangled shipping containers are washing up on the NSW Central Coast.
Mangled shipping containers are washing up on the NSW Central Coast. (9News)

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) warns the overboard containers may be a “navigational hazard” for other ships.

AMSA representative Mark Morrow said aircraft are trying to spot the floating containers to alert ships passing along the east coast.

A man picks packets of face masks up out of the surf. (9News)

Already, discarded plastic gloves and surgical masks have been photographed strewn in the streets of hard-hit countries such as Italy, Spain and the US.

The world produces more than 380 million tonnes of plastic annually, most of this ends up as pollutants.

Source: 9News

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