Update: Mitsui to send tugs to salvage MOL COMFORT

Two days after the accident of the 8,450 teu container vessel MOL COMFORT, the vessel owner and operator, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), has provided some updates on the situation.

The Japanese carrier confirmed that the vessel has entirely broken in half and that the fore and aft hull parts are drifting separately in the Arabian Sea. MOL added that, contrary to some speculative press reports, there was so far no evidence for a major oil spill nor for a fire onboard the MOL COMFORT.

MOL has arranged a patrol boat which has already departed from Jebel Ali, U.A.E. to monitor the state of the vessel and the cargo for the preparation of tow operations. The boat is expected to arrive at the ocean site on Saturday.

In parallel, MOL is arranging tug boats to take the two halves of the ship in tow. The carrier stated that the two pieces of the ship appear relatively ‘intact’ and continue to float in a ‘stable’ manner despite the adverse weather conditions. Thus chances are good that, if towing operations are successful, most of the cargo that the MOL COMFORT carried will be salvaged at one point. MOL however did not yet comment on details of the planned salvage operation – presumably since the operation as such is presently at planning stage only.

In addition, MOL has started investigating the cause of the incident jointly with the vessel’s shipbuilder.

The carrier also confirmed earlier reports that all crew members of the MOL COMFORT were safely rescued.

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