MOL said the aft part of the containership MOL Comfort
sank in the Indian Ocean around noon, local time, on Thursday, 10 days after it broke in two during a storm.
The Japanese container carrier said the aft part sank in the open sea near 14’26”N 66’26”E where the water depth is about 4,000 meters. It said about 1,700 containers sank with this section of the vessel, and some are floating near the site.
About 1,500 metric tons of fuel oil was estimated to be aboard in the tanks in the part that sank, but the company said "no large volume of oil leakage is confirmed at this moment."
"We have reported this fact to Indian authorities while we are keeping patrol boats in the area to monitor the situation of oil leakage and floating containers," MOL said.
The fore part is being stably towed.
Meanwhile, MOL said it will upgrade the MOL Comfort
's six sister ships by further strengthening their hulls.
The company said together with shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and the classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) it is continuing an investigation to o find the cause of the accident.
MOL said "we have decided to take extra preventive measures as it may take some time to identify the cause. For the six sister vessels that we operate, we have already started the operational precautions to reduce the stress on the hull. These vessels sufficiently fill the safety standard required by ClassNK" in compliance with standards of the International Association of Classification Societies. MOL said it will conduct upgrade works to further strengthen the hull structure to twice that standard.
The carrier also said the ships will be taken out of service for the upgrade works and sailing schedules will be revised accordingly. - Chris Dupin