MOL Comfort on June 17.

MOL Comfort on June 17.

classnkJapanese classification society ClassNK issued a statement today on the ongoing investigation into what might have gone wrong with the ill-fated containership, MOL Comfort, which cracked in half in heavy seas on June 17th.

ClassNK was the firm responsible for ensuring the vessel was designed and inspected in accordance with international ship design regulations and codes for ship design, and is the largest member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) by gross tonnage.

In an emailed statement today, ClassNK comments,

“The ClassNK Casualty Investigation Team continues to cooperate with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), and government authorities to determine the cause of casualty.

As part of the ongoing investigation, an exhaustive review of the MOL Comfort’s design as well as the plan approval process has been completed. This review has verified the results of the plan approval process, and confirmed that the vessel design fully complied with all requirements of the ClassNK Rules and IACS regulations.

A similar review of the vessel’s survey records has also been completed, and confirmed that the Special Survey of the vessel completed on 29 May 2013 was carried out in full compliance with the regulations and guidance for Special Surveys. The review also verified that no abnormalities were observed during the Special Survey and that the vessel was in full compliance with all requirements of the ClassNK Rules and IACS regulations at the time of survey completion.”

Based on today’s statement by ClassNK, there’s no doubt that intense scrutiny will be placed on specifically how this vessel was loaded and the process in place to ensure the vessel was not improperly loaded before sailing.  Forensic study of the hull cross section will commence when the vessel arrives in port to further verify that the ship was constructed in accordance with the approved ship design plans.

Ship owner, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has appointed London-based classification society, Lloyd’s Register as an independent technical consultant to help determine the cause of the incident.  Lloyd’s Register is also a prominent member of IACS and has extensive experience in the inspection and design approval of containerships in the 8,000 TEU range.

FULL COVERAGE: MOL Comfort Incident

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