‘MOL Comfort’ final report

02 Oct 2014
The ‘MOL Comfort’ split in two off the coast of Mumbai in June 2013

The ‘MOL Comfort’ split in two off the coast of Mumbai in June 2013

Japanese classification society, ClassNK, has published the final report into the ‘MOL Comfort’ incident conducted by its Investigative Panel on Large Container Ship Safety.

ClassNK’s interim report said that the hull fracture originated from buckling collapse of the bottom shell plates in the way of a butt joint in the double bottom structure underneath the midship No. 6 cargo hold.

The investigation concluded that it was possible that the load of the vertical bending moment exceeded the hull girder ultimate strength at the time of the accident when uncertainty factors like sea state and yield stress were taken into account. But the overlap between the strength and the load would have been very narrow.

The final report concludes that Post-Panamax container ships have improved their stability in comparison with Panamax container ships and have gained more cargo loading flexibility in complying with the stability requirements. “As a result, the need to ballast in the double bottom tanks to improve stability is reduced,” it said.

ClassNK said it will continue to work towards the safety of the large container ships including improvement of the relevant rules and guidance.

The society has now scheduled an immediate meeting with IACS members to present the final report and to share the findings and outcomes among members.

The MOL Comfort, operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), split in two off the coast of Mumbai after suffering a crack amidships whilst travelling fully laden from Singapore to Jeddah back in June 2013.

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