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MOL Comfort (ex APL Russia) sank due to yet unclear reasons, sailing from Singapore to Jeddah and after that to North Europe, leaving behind hundreds of drifting containers and a huge aftershock hitting liner sector and all of the maritime industry.
Even the scale of the consequences is hard, impossible, to estimate, not to mention consequences themselves. This is the 1st case in liner sector, when modern ocean-going liner container vessel (built in Japan!) sank in the ocean after breaking in 2 parts, like a poorly built and managed bulk carrier or over aged coaster. Nothing like this ever occurred, and no one believed it was possible, even theoretically. It just could not happen, but still, here it is.
At present stage, even the weirdest theories of the real cause of this accident can not be ignored, something like explosion or several explosions, or whatever else one may fantasize.
Putting aside some exotic versions, most likely causes that come into mind are some basic design and building faults; serious disbalance of the loaded containers weight due to false cargo weight declarations and faulty cargo plan; faulty ballasting of the container ship. Most probably, if that’s the case, the sinking was caused not by just one of the above-mentioned factors, but by their combination, and triggered by rough weather.
If it is going to be found, that there were a few factors involved, then, the questions arise which require sound and unequivocal answers.
The questions of insurance and cargo loss coverage for shippers, especially minor ones, is also important, too.
We do not also have to forget another risk quite a number of experts are already worried over – the risk of major fire on a giant ocean-going container vessel.
One thing is clear, though. The liner sector, 1st of all majors, are going to do whatever it takes to hide unfavorable factors and especially, basic faults, if there are any. The awesome container transportation mechanism they created may not stand serious modifications, called by safety needs.
Koichi Muto, President of the Tokyo - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines reported that the container vessel MOL Comfort (ex APL Russia container ship) couldn't continue sailing under its own power because the vessel's hull suffered a serious crack amidships while sailing on the Indian Ocean. The container ship was fractured in 2 parts, fore and aft.
At 7:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday, 18th of June, 2013, the fore part of the hull is drifting around 13' 00" N 60' 40" E, and the aft part is about 19 nautical miles southwest from that point. At present, both parts of the container vessel MOL Comfort are laden with containers and drifting in an east-northeast direction. We are also arranging tug vessels to tow both parts of our container ship.
There are no indications as yet of a major oil leak of MOL Comfort near the site. Continue reading →
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines announced in a statement that the MOL-operated container vessel MOL Comfort experienced a crack amidships and ingressed water in the hold while sailing from Singapore to Jeddah on the Indian Ocean on 17th of June, 2013 due to inclement weather conditions.
Due to bad weather it was impossible for the container ship to continue on, under its own power.
Some of the onboard containers on the MOL Confort were lost overboard or suffered damage during the accident. Details are being confirmed.
The damage to the MOL-operated container ship, MOL Comfort is extensive, while the twenty-six crew members took to life boats. All people onboard the container ship were safely rescued by other ships in the area.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines instantly set up the Emergency Control Headquarters for the accident, and is taking company-wide measures necessary to address the matter properly.
The container shipping entity of Danish shipping industry and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk has entered into a brand-new alliance with its 2 biggest rivals CMA CGM and to Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. in order to enhance operations and services.
The 3 biggest container shipping companies in the world measured on capacity, intend to start operations in the 2nd quarter of 2014, depending on regulatory approvals, according to the statement of Maersk Line.
The mega alliance, the P3, is going to be an independently operated network, which is consisted of 255 ships with a total capacity of 2,6 million TEUs, and is going to be serving the Asia-Europe, Transpacific, and Transatlantic (North Europe and Mediterranean) trades, reported the company.
Maersk Line, as the biggest international shipping company is going to contribute with over 100 ships.
In the statement, Maersk Line announced that alliance is lead by declining volume growth and over-capacity in recent years and this has underlined the need to enhance operations and efficiency in the industry.
The 3 international shipping companies are going to continue with their fully independent sales, marketing and customer service work.
The alliance is going to allow each of the shipping lines to offer more weekly sailings in the combined network, which they do individually. Additionally, the network is planned to offer more direct ports of call, Maersk Line told in the statement.
On the June 17, one Canadian and two Americans have been rescued from a ship that started taking on water this morning 150 n.m. south south west of American Samoa.
The primary report was obtained via Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Honolulu shortly after 4:30 a.m., with the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) obtaining a transmission from the emergency locator beacon (EPIRB) of the damaged ship just before 8:00 a.m.
The ship's crew members of MV Horizons, was communicating via satellite phone and email with a contact in Tonga and emerged the ship was taking on water and expected to sink. Life rafts were deployed alongside, in case it became necessary to abandon the vessel, with the crew members equipped with a handheld VHF radio to keep communications.
Dave Wilson, who is Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator of the RCC of New Zealand told that 3 ships were dispatched to the scene of the accident with charter fishing ship MV Last Stall the 1st to arrive, rescuing the crew members at around midday.
An RNZAF P3 Orion was also directed to scene and due to arrive at around 2:00 p.m. but was recalled following the rescue operation.
The MV Horizons vessel remains afloat at this stage and a navigation warning is going to be issued alerting shipping in the region. It's not known what is the cause of the ship's accident but it is expected to sink. The damaged ship is registered in the Cayman Islands and is believed to be a long-range support ship for fishing charters.
The MV Last Stall vessel is continuing to Tonga with the rescued crew members onboard, a journey expected to take around 2 days.