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Update: MOL Comfort split in two, rescue underway

Update: MOL Comfort split in two, rescue underway
MOL has contracted a salvage company and is proceeding to rescue the cargo and hulls of stricken MOL Comfort after the containership split into two on the Indian Ocean due to a major structural failure, the Japanese line said on Thursday.

The containership was en route to Jeddah from Singapore when the hull suffered a crack amidship on 17 June. The aft part remained drifting in an east-northeast direction while the status of the fore part is to be confirmed while visibility is limited due to adverse weather, MOL updated.

MOL has arranged a patrol boat which departed from Port of Jebel Ali, UAE, on Wednesday to monitor the state of the vessel and the cargo and for the preparation of tow operations. The boat is expected to arrive at the ocean site on 24 June. In parallel, the company is also arranging tugboats to tow the MOL Comfort.

The Japanese container line added it has started investigating the cause of the incident jointly with the vessel's shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The spokesperson confirmed to Seatrade Global that there was no large volume of oil leakage at the accident site. Some of the containers might be lost or damaged during the accident but majority of the cargo are confirmed to be aboard the aft part. The status of the fore part is to be confirmed, MOL said.

MOL Comfort’s 26 crew, comprising 11 Russians, one Ukranian, and 14 Filipinos, have all been rescued after escaping via lifeboat.