MOL Comfort salvage update (UPDATE 2)
The two sections of container ship MOL COMFORT, which broke apart in rough seas en route to Jiddah (see our previous coverage ) appear to be still afloat as of today. According to various sources, sections are being monitored by MOL-managed car carrier SANDERLING ACE.
The aft section continued to send AIS signals, as confirmed by FleetMon satellite AIS partner LuxSpace, who received the last position on 2013-06-18 at 19:33 UTC.
MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines) confirms both sections are adrift at 2 kn speed in east-northeast direction, still laden with containers. FleetMon satellite AIS data captured yesterday is in support of this report (see below map). The company has arranged patrol boats and tug boats in preparation of tow operations. The patrol boat is expected to arrive on scene on June 23rd.
Investigations of the cause of the incident have been taken up jointly by MOL and the shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
All crew were rescued by Hamburg vessel YANTIAN EXPRESS which was closest to the site at the time the ship had to be abandoned. SANDERLING ACE confirmed no fire and no major oil spill to be seen.
Below map details incident position and vessel behavior before and after the incident. (Satellite AIS data © FleetMon.com/Luxspace SARL)
According to FleetMon environmental data, winds have calmed down a little to 30kn, while waves still around 6 m high.
UPDATE 2013-06-20: MOL confirms that aft section is still adrift. The status of the fore part is to be confirmed while the visibility is limited due to adverse weather.
The majority of the cargo is save on the aft platform, and MOL undertakes salvage of the cargo and hull. Status of cargo on fore part still to be confirmed. No major oil spills.