MOL Comfort sections still afloat (with photo) UPDATE
UPDATE with map indicating incident position and ship drift.
Also see our follow-up article.
Indian Coastguard confirms that sections of the MOL COMFORT are still afloat and being monitored. Prior reports indicated that vessel sunk, this seems not the case.
Current conditions according to FleetMon environment data: Wind 27kn, gust 35 to 55 kn WSW, waves 6.2 m with 10 sec period.
According to its FleetMon Vessel Datasheet , the ship was built in 2008 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and classed by NIPPON KAIJI KYOKAI (ClassNK). No doubt it is a rather new ship with state-of-the-art construction and maintenance level.
Analysts agree that something like this "should not happen". Vessels are built to resist much more adverse conditions at sea then these. "New ships just don't break apart at sea."
This incident will certainly be reason for concern to the shipbulding industry, but also for insurers and classification societies, as it shatters the pillars of their profession. It may be expected that the incident will be examined extremely thoroughly and the results get wide attention.
(Photos released by Indian Coastguard)
(Photos released by Twitter user nalam65)
The incident location is far off the coasts, hence out of reach of terrestrial AIS receivers. Exact indication of the position has as of yet not been published and reports were contradictory.
In the following map, FleetMon shows the track and position of the MOL COMFORT on its way from Singapore westwards, takingn route to Yemen coast and the Gulf of Aden. Apparently the incident took place on 2013-06-17 06:00 UTC and the vessel is drifting with AIS transponder still working. The track has been created using satellite AIS data kindly provided by our partner LuxSpace.
Detail view shows the vessel - to be more exact: the section bearing the AIS transponder - drifting away at about 2kn to 5kn in strong winds. Within 24 hours, the section drifted some 57 nm.
(Satellite AIS map © FleetMon.com/Luxspace SARL)