MOL Comfort: Towing begins of bow, six sister ships inspected
Friday, 28 June 2013 06:03
M/V Capricorn, a tug owned by Sri Lanka Shipping, is reported to have the forward section of the MOL Comfort under tow, according to a report in oldsaltblog.com
It said the 8,100-teu container ship broke in two last week while under way from Singapore to Jeddah. The forward section of the ship is reported to be trimmed three meters by the head, but the water tight bulkheads appear to be intact.
The tug Pacific Terrier is reported to be preparing to tow the after section of the ship. The after section is also said to be in relatively good condition with the engine rooms bullheads intact. An oil sheen is visible around the after section of the ship but MOL is reporting “there is no large volume of oil leakage confirmed.”
The MOL Comfort‘s six sister ships, the MOL Creation, MOL Charisma, MOL Celebration, MOL Courage, MOL Competence, and MOL Commitment, are all being inspected “as quickly as possible” by engineers from the shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the classification society, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai.
Meanwhile Seanews.com of Turkey said the two parts of the 8,000-TEU MOL Comfort that split in two in a storm on 17 June off the south Arabian coast in the northern Indian Ocean are now sighted by seagoing tugs, which have the forward section under tow.
“We have started to tow the fore part toward Arabian Gulf. We will continue to monitor the aft part and prepare for the towing operation,” said Japan’s MOL Line in what has become daily bulletins.
“The weather at the site is still adverse. The fore part is near 15’43”N 69’07”E. The aft part is drifting near 14’03”N 65’30”E in an east-northeast direction,” said the statement, putting them miles apart.
The Times of Oman 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, the Times report, 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.