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Three MOL Comfort sisterships return to service

Three MOL Comfort sisterships return to service
Three of the sisterships of the MOL Comfort, the boxship that split in two in June, have returned to service after undergoing hull strengthening.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) said the MOL Celebration, MOL Courage, and MOL Creation returned to the service on the Asia – Europe trade on 10 August.

The vessels are three out of six sisterships of the five-year old MOL Comfort, which fractured and then split in two in the Indian Ocean on 17 June. The MOL Comfort and its six sisterships were all built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

ClassNK, which classed all the vessels, said the hulls of the three ships been strengthened to twice that normally required. Lloyd’s Register (LR) which has been appointed to investigate the cause of the casualty was of the opinion: “the structural reinforcement completed for the vessels is considered to be the best preventive measure against a similar failure at present”.

For the three remaining sisterships, MOL Charisma and MOL Competence are expected to be redelivered by the end of September/early October, while work the MOL Commitment, which was newly delivered in June, will be completed by February 2014.

In addition to investigations by LR MOL said it had “extended and will extend all possible cooperation to the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety, which was launched by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)”.

Investigations will be hampered due to the failed attempt to salvage the MOL Comfort. The aft part of the vessel sank on 27 June while the fore section sank on 11 July after being on fire for five days.

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