18 June 2013

Container Ship Founders in Indian Ocean - MOL Vessel Split in Two - Fate of Freight in Doubt  

Two Halves of Hull Drift Apart as Crew in Dramatic Rescue by Other Box Carriers

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Shipping News Feature

INDIAN OCEAN – The crew of the MOL Comfort which broke in half yesterday whilst under way after loading in Saudi Arabia, were en route to Colombo having been rescued by three other vessels under the direction of Indian Coastguard officials. The ship, formerly the APL Russia, a 90,000 dwt dry cargo carrier, 316 metres long with a breadth of 46 metres, has developed two massive cracks, splitting her hull into two pieces which, on last reports, were floating separately as tugs approached the scene in a bid to tow both sections.

Up to now there are no reports of oil spillage and no confirmation of how many containers have yet been lost but there are known losses as is usual with an incident of this nature. Often in cases like this the buoyancy of securely stowed containers is what enables the ship to stay afloat. Three other rival container carriers, MV Hanjin Bejing, MV Zim India and MV Yantian Express, managed to attend the scene after coordination by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai and rescued the entire 26 man crew, 14 Filipinos and 12 Russians, from three life craft.

Weather conditions in the Indian Ocean at the time of the incident were known to be poor and the last confirmation from MOL puts the fore part of the hull as drifting around 13’00”N 60’40”E, with the aft part about 19 miles southwest from that point.

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