firefighting mol comfort indian coast guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

UPDATE (10 JUL): MOL Comfort Fore Section has Sunk

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) reported Saturday that a fire has broken out on the rear end of the fore part of the vessel at around 0030UTC (0930 JST) on July 6.

“We immediately requested the salvage company to start fire fighting. The tug boat and other two rescue boats are responding to the fire at the scene,” notes MOL in a statement on their website.

UPDATE: 8 July

Indian Coast Guard pollution response vessel, “ICGS Samudra Prahari” has arrived on scene to assist in the firefighting efforts on the fore section of the MOL Comfort.  We spoke with the Indian Coast Guard and they note that contrary to some reports, the fire is not yet contained and firefighting efforts continue as of 1500 GMT. Here are some photos from the scene.

firefighting mol comfort 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 (c) Indian Coast Guard

Image courtesy Indian Coast Guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard

firefighting mol comfort indian coast guard

Image (c) Indian Coast Guard


UPDATE: 7 July:

According to a statement on MOL’s website, the fire is not yet under control and efforts to contain the blaze have been hampered by adverse weather.  Following a request by the salvage company, the Indian Coast Guard’s patrol boat “Samudra Prahari”, which is equipped with powerful external fire fighting system, has been dispatched and is now proceeding to the scene.

This is the second significant setback to befall the salvors after the stern of the vessel sank in heavy seas on June 27.

Updates to follow when available.

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    • Capt Geest

      Right? Arm torpedoes and send a full spread in.

  • c

    This/ These ship is fall in love with Indian Ocean? Be a part of sea water with on hesitate.

    • Bill

      Yep.. ‘scale of economy’ generally means larger hulls constructed using high tensile steel to reduce scantlings with little or no consideration for inevitable corrosion and metal fatigue. When you couple that with substandard shipbuilding (poor design, materials and construction techniques) and class societies that are sometimes willing, under yard pressure, to look the other way and bend rules, you have a recipe for possible catastrophic structural failure.
      I know when I sailed Chief Mate on one particular class of container ship I was constantly monitoring small cracks in transverse box girders and hatch coamings to see that they didn’t migrate into deck and side shell plating. We were cautioned by our company engineering department to immediately report any cracks in the coaming below the lower coaming flange plate; as those cracks could potentially represent a serious threat to the safety of the ship.

  • Mike

    Mmm, how does the fwd half of a ship catch fire when detached from the mechanical bit at the back? I would assume that since the engine room is no longer connected there is no electrical or hydraulic power in the bow section. Then what could possibly have started a fire? Salvage crew cooking lunch on a gas burner perhaps? Very strange.

    • Tups

      Perhaps something in one of the containers caught fire after coming in contact with sea water? There’s plenty of those chemicals around and it’s possible MOL Comfort was carrying them, either knowingly or declared as something “safe” according to the cargo manifest.

    • Todd Schaefer

      I’m sure it started in one of the containers. Whether or not it was properly listed on the manifest, we may never know.

    • Marcel Liedts

      Very simple. Oxidizing cargo in the reefer containers that are not running anymore.

  • Earl Duke


  • Seafarer

    MOL Comfort has a bit smaller sister ships known s E-Class.
    This is Panamax container vessels. I used to work on MOL Expeditor which is presently in service.This vessel being 2 years old had already cracks in structures in vicinity of cargo hold No.2 visible in under deck passageway.Management was aware about this but did not do nothing. At least that time. Probably MOL Comfort had same problem of construction.

  • Damn Yankee

    When only a total loss will suffice, Japanese lightning comes in to save the day!!

    • Marcel Liedts

      Its not the stern but the forward part that went on fire and if you would know the MOL company you would understand that they are not after the insurance money.

  • Marc

    The actual part of the vessel afire is the fore end not the aft, the aft part of the vessel sank at the end of last month,27th I think it was, as for the fire, it could be caused by one of may things, and it is quite possible for it to ignite with not a person on board, certain chemicals when in contact with seawater and in a confined space like a seacan will combust,it has happend many times before with other box ships , have a look at some of the previous shipboard fires on gcaptain, Amsterdam bridge for instance, or msc flaminia, to name but two,severed hydraulic lines could ignite although I would have expected this to happen at the time of separation of the two parts of the hull.
    Time will tell IF they manage to get the fore part back to safe harbour and investigate the causes behind it. I for one hope they do manage the salvage operation.

  • Paul G.

    Captain Murphy(of the “Law”) must be aboard that ship. Seriously I hope this can be salvaged so as the causes can be definitively determined. Hmmm, that might not be good for the owner.

  • JoeOvercoat

    The good news is that only half the ship is on fire….

  • Eugeee

    What else could possibly go wrong I wonder?

  • CAPTmm

    Quite improbable these events, assuming the ship did not break in two, there would have been a fire anyway? Is that the logical reasoning?

  • JXXX

    Seems fire is too close to “the” bulkhead. One might be able to punch through a hole already …

  • Hubert

    Shall we call this a suspect fire???

    • Marcel Liedts

      No. We call this a cargo fire which happens when the cool containers are not kept cool anymore.

  • Balboni

    Is/was full restitution paid?

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