Update: MOL Comfort Still Afloat After Breaking in Two

Wednesday June 19, 2013

Update: Adds that MOL and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd have started a joint investigation into the incident.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) containership MOL Comfort is "stably floating" after breaking into two parts, fore and aft, the company said in a statement today.

On Monday the containership suffered a crack amidships during inclement weather, and reports at the time attributed to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said the vessel had sunk around 200 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Mumbai earlier tweeted pictures of the two vessel sections, adding it had broken in two on Monday.

In today's statement, MOL said that at about 05:00 local time on June 19, 2013 the two vessel parts were in the central part of the Indian Ocean, still laden with containers, and drifting at about 2 knots in an east-northeast direction.

The position of the aft was given as 12'57"N 61'10"E.

Reports from a MOL operated vessel that yesterday passed nearby the site said MOL Comfort was stably floating "even under adverse weather."

MOL adds it is arranging tugboats to recover both vessel parts, and a patrol boat has departed from Port of Jebel Ali, U.A.E. to monitor the state of the vessel and the cargo, and for the preparation of the tow operations.

The boat is expected to reach the MOL Comfort on June 23.

Reports from Monday said that an "indeterminate quantity" of oil had spilled as a result of the incident, but MOL said yesterday that there were "no indications as yet of a major oil leak near the site."

"It has not been acknowledged that fire has occurred nor a large volume of oil has leaked," they added today.

MOL and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., who built the vessel, have started a joint investigation into the cause of the incident.