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MOL Comfort

Name
MOL Comfort
Accident date
17/06/2013
Location
Indian Ocean
Accident area
840 miles off Indian coastline
Spill area
Offshore
Cause of spill
Structural damage
Quantity transported
4,382 containers and 3,000 tonnes of fuel
Ship / structure type
Container ship (8,110 TEU)
Built date
2008
Shipyard
Japan
Length
316.00 m
Width
46.00 m
Flag
Bahamas
Manager
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Classification society
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, ClassNK

On the 17th June 2013, the container ship MOL Comfort was en route from Singapore to Djeddah in Saudi Arabia with 4,382 containers and 3,000 tonnes of fuel aboard.

In the monsoon season the weather conditions in the area are very bad and the structure of the ship's hull suffered severe damage. A major leak was detected which required the 26 crew members to be evacuated. The recently built, 316-metre container ship finally broke in two the same day.

 

The wreck

In the days following the accident the two parts of the vessel remained afloat and drifted at a speed of 2 knots in a north-easterly direction. The parts of the vessel were 20 nautical miles apart.

In the days following the accident the two parts of the vessel remained afloat and drifted at a speed of 2 knots in a north-easterly direction. The parts of the vessel were 20 nautical miles apart.

 

Drift of the rear part of the vessel which sank on the 27th June 2013
Drift of the rear part of the vessel which sank on the 27th June 2013

 

On the 1st July the tow cable attached to the fore part of the vessel snapped. The 3 tugs on site attempted to reconnect it and succeeded on the 3rd July. On the 6th July a fire broke out in the fore part which was still afloat. The Samudra Prahari, a pollution control boat with an external fire fighting system, arrived on-site on the 8th July. On the 10th July, the fore part of the vessel also sank, almost a month after the start of the incident, taking with it 2,400 containers and 1,600 tonnes of fuel to a depth of 3,000 metres.

 

Drift of the fore part of the vessel which sank on the 10th July 2013
Drift of the fore part of the vessel which sank on the 10th July 2013

 

Fire oboard the MOL Comfort

 

Growing giants of the sea

This incident raises several different issues. The first concerns the issue of loading vessels and the distribution of weight aboard, the second is focused on the increasing size of container ships. Today over 600 container ships have a capacity greater than 8,000 TEU and several vessels with a TEU of over 18,000 are currently under construction.

Following this incident, the 6 sister vessels of the MOL Comfort (MOL Creation, MOL Charisma, MOL Celebration, MOL Courage, MOL Competence, MOL Commitment) underwent structural inspections in dry dock. During August 2013, 3 of these sister vessels (MOL Celebration, MOL Courage and MOL Creation) were brought back into service after upgrades to strengthen their hull structure.

 

Fire aboard the MOL Comfort.
Fire aboard the MOL Comfort.
Last update: 08/10/2013

See also

MSC Flaminia, Date : 14/07/2012, Location : international waters

External links

Q&S BV, Website dedicated to the incident

Mitsui Osk Lines, Press releases from the vessel's manager

gCaptain, Photos of the incident