MOL Comfort preliminary findings

05 Nov 2013
The ‘MOL Comfort’  incident is being used to establish countermeasures to prevent the occurrence of similar casualties in the future

The ‘MOL Comfort’ incident is being used to establish countermeasures to prevent the occurrence of similar casualties in the future

The ClassNK Casualty Investigation Team has released preliminary findings and safety measures following the loss of the container vessel MOL Comfort.

ClassNK says that following completion of various stress tests of the vessel’s sister ships, buckling type deformations measuring around 20mm in height have been observed on the bottom shell plates in the centre line of the midship area.

At this stage, it is unclear as to whether these deformations could have served as a trigger for the split of the MOL Comfort. But, reinforcement work to increase the hull strength of the Comfort’s sister vessels is already taking place as a safeguard.

Apparently, structural investigations are also being carried out to determine whether similar deformations have occurred in large container vessels with different designs.

Based on these findings, Class NK has proposed the following safety measures – that crew inspect the midship bottom shell plates for deformations, If they're worried, shipowners can request a surveyor inspection from Class NK free of charge.

If deformations are detected, then a occasional survey is recommended. ClassNK will dispatch qualified surveyors upon request.

The Motorship previously reported that the investigation was taking longer than expected – largely due to the time consuming aspects of the some of the analysis work.

Class NK is working closely with the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety to compile its final report on the incident.

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.

The vessel was only five years old at the time of the incident. It was built by Nagasaki Shipyard & Engine Works and delivered to MOL in 2008.

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