The 8,540 teu container vessel MOL COMFORT today suffered a major accident while underway in the Arabian Sea. Sailing in inclement weather conditions with a heavy swell, the ship has developed cracks in its hull and finally broke in two forward of the bridge, near its center.

It appears that the damage occurred as a result of wave-induced stresses on the hull, with no indicators for a collision or fire which might have weakened the hull.

Reports are still inconclusive as toward whether the ship sank or not. All crew have reportedly been able to safely abandon ship and could be picked up by merchant ships in the vicinity.

The 2008-built MOL COMFORT is owned and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines of Japan. The ship was one of 11 vessels deployed on the G6-Alliance’s MOL and APL-operated Far East to Europe Loop 1 (#1726). At the time of the accident, the 316m vessel was underway from Singapore to Jeddah and located about half-way between India and Yemen.

Rescue operations were coordinated by the Indian Coast Guard in Mumbai. First photos from the accident site show that the vessel was carrying a near-full load of containers.

The MOL COMFORT is one of two 8,540 teu sister vessels built for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines at Imabari’s Koyo Dockyard, Japan, and part of a wider series of 12 more or less similar vessels built between 2007 and 2011 at Mitsubishi’s Nagasaki Shipyard. A further two (near-) sister ships are due for delivery this year. The MOL COMFORT is classed by NKK and insured through the Japan Ship Owner’s P&I association.