MOL tells of floating boxes, oil slick after MOL Comfort goes down
SOME 1,600 tonnes of bunker fuel and other oils sank with the forward end of the 8,000-TEU MOL Comfort, and salvagers report a thin oil slick on the surface in the Arabian Sea
SOME 1,600 tonnes of bunker fuel and other oils sank with the forward end of the 8,000-TEU MOL Comfort, and salvagers report a thin oil slick on the surface in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman and Yemen.
"About 2,400 containers on board the fore part of the vessel sank together, while some have been confirmed floating near the site," said the latest MOL statement, giving developments of the ship that split in two in heavy weather on June 27.
"There is an oil film at the site, but no large volume of oil leakage has been observed at this moment," said the MOL statement.
After the ship split in two in heavy swells the after section including the wheelhouse and crew's quarters wallowed in the water for a few days after the men took to the boats before being picked up by Hapag-Lloyd's 10,000-TEU Yantian Express that happened to be passing in the busy trade lane.
Once the after section went down, a patrol boat stayed in the area, while deepsea tugs put the forward section under tow. In adverse weather while under tow, the cables disconnected. Shortly after re-connection to the front end of the ship, broke out in the rear, first burning off the containers on the weather deck and then continuing to burn out of control bellows desks too, despite the efforts of fire fighting appliances.
"A fire broke out from the rear end [of the forward section of the ship] on July 6, and one tug and two rescue boats responded to the fire. On top of these three boats, the salvage company requested assistance of the Indian Coast Guard for fire fighting equipment, and their patrol boat Samudra Prahhari with her external fire fighting system, arrived at the scene on July 8, and started fire fighting with the others," said the MOL statement.
"We have reported to the flag state of Bahamas, Indian authorities and parties concerned. We will keep the salvage team at the scene to monitor if there is any oil leakage and floating containers," said the statement.
Heavy seas were blamed by MOL for the lack of progress in quelling the fire that occurred while the surviving front end of the ship was under tow.