On June 17, 2013, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ 2008-built MOL Comfort began suffering from severe hogging and broke in two while underway from Singapore to Jeddah with a load of 7,041 TEUs. The crew escaped in life rafts and were picked up by another merchant vessel. The stern section was never recovered and sank some 10 days later. The bow section was towed most of the way towards the Arabian Gulf, but eventually burst into flames and sank. Here is a collection of photos of the incident.

MOL Comfort on June 17, 2013.

FULL COVERAGE: MOL Comfort Incident

MOL Comfort breaks in two

MOL Comfort breaks in half, June 17, 2013.

Both fore and aft sections set adrift in the Indian Ocean. Image credit: MRCC

Image credit: MRCC

Bow section picture after breaking apart July 17. Image credit: MRCC Mumbai

Image credit: MRCC Mumbai

On June 25, Sri Lanka Shipping company’s tug, M/V Capricorn, connected to the bow section and commenced towing to the Arabian Gulf. Tugs were never able to connect to the stern section.

SEE ALSO: Is Container Weight the Issue?

mol comfort under tow

mol comfort under tow

mol comfort under tow Haldane van Horen

Image (c) Al Malone

mol comfort under tow Haldane van Horen

Under tow. Image (c) Al Malone

On June 27, the stern section began taking on water and sank with an estimated 1,700 containers and 1,500 metric tons of fuel oil. These photos sent to gCaptain were taken over a five minute period.

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On July 2, the MOL Comfort’s bow section broke free from its towing wire while in adverse sea conditions. Crews were able to reconnected and continue towing. Four days later, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines reported that on July 6, a fire broke towards the rear of the bow section, and fire fighting efforts commenced.

More MOL Comfort firefighting images and video can be seen HERE

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firefighting mol comfort indian coast guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

firefighting mol comfort indian coast guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

firefighting mol comfort indian coast guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

Image courtesy Indian Coast Guard

Image courtesy Indian Coast Guard

mol comfort

image via Ole, gCaptain contributor

mol comfort

image via Ole, gCaptain contributor

mol comfort

image via Ole, gCaptain contributor

mol comfort

image via Ole, gCaptain contributor

mol comfort

image via Ole, gCaptain contributor

In a statement July 10, 2013, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines said that most of the containers on deck have been burnt out, but they have not been able to confirm the situation in the cargo hold. An update said that the bow section sank near 19’56”N 65’25”E (water depth about 3,000m) at 19:00 UTC on July 10 (04:00 on July 11 JST).  The section sank with about 2,400 containers and 1,600 metric tons of fuel oil, MOL has estimated.

MOL Comfort

July 10. Image (c) gCaptain. Click for large.

mol comfort position

Plotted approximate positions of where the MOL Comfort broke apart and eventually sank

FULL COVERAGE: MOL Comfort Incident

MOL Comfort seen in 2009.

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