Saturday, 29 June 2013

MOL Comfort’s Stern Sinks in 4,000 meters ocean depth

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has reported that the aft section of the MOL Comfort has sunk near 14’26”N 66’26”E at 16:48 JST (11:48 Dubai time) on June 27. With a water depth of 4,000 meters, no further salvage of the ship will be possible due to the extreme ocean depth.

MOL notes that about 1,700 containers and 1,500 metric tons of fuel oil sank with this section of the vessel. Some containers are confirmed floating near the site.

It has been told that the stern began sinking at 1000 hrs (local time) when hatch 7 was breached. The vessel made a quick list and trim forward and to her starboard. Bright colored and black smoke were observed billowing from the section and, as a precaution, both vessels in the vicinity moved upwind away from the vessel.

The fore part is being stably towed towards the arabian gulf.It's also reported that taking the ship into the Port of Salalah may be an option.

"The incident is of great concern," said the Salalah port official. "This is the first time that a containership of this size, heavily laden with cargo, has broken in two."

According to shipping-building industry experts,  damage can be attributed to basic design and building flaws, a serious imbalance in the weight of the loaded containers due to false cargo weight declarations, and a faulty cargo plan or faulty ballasting in the containership.

Earlier Report this morning, prior to sinking:

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) reports that the aft part of the vessel has yet to be taken under tow and is “rolling heavily in adverse weather,” and that an unknown number of containers have been lost and water ingress into the cargo hold is progressing.

MOL notes that structural reinforcements will be added to the six other sister ships of the MOL Comfort at the earliest possible opportunity.

“These vessels sufficiently fill the safety standard required by ClassNK in compliance to IACS, but we will conduct upgrade works to further strengthen the hull structure at the earliest timing. This will enhance the strength of the hull twice as much as the safety standard.”

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