Mitsui O.S.K. Lines reported that during the ongoing salvage operation of the MOL Comfort, which snapped in half on June 17 during inclement weather in the Indian Ocean, the vessel’s tow wire was “disconnected” from the fore part.
MOL said it is working on the recovery of the fore part with three tugboats and will resume towing in a west-northwest direction once that work is completed. The container line noted that the vessel is located near 17’02”N 67’57”E, where the weather remains adverse, but is still in stable condition with the majority of its cargo onboard.
MOL also confirmed that there is currently no oil film around the fore part. Furthermore, it has completed monitoring the area where the aft part of the MOL Comfort sank on June 27 and confirmed to Indian authorities that there is currently no oil leakage or floating containers visible. About 1,500 metric tons of fuel oil was estimated to be aboard in the tanks of the aft part, along with 1,700 containers.
The 7,041 20-foot-equivalent unit, Bahamas-flag MOL Comfort was en route from Singapore to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when it broke in two about 200 nautical miles from Yemen. The aft part of the vessel later sank in the open sea in the Indian Ocean, near 14’26”N 66’26”E, after MOL was unable to tow it because of the weather conditions. Rescue boats started arriving to salvage the fore part on June 24.
MOL has since decided to withdraw the MOL Comfort’s six sister vessels from service as a preventative measure and to upgrade their hulls. An investigation of the cause of the fracture continues.