26 crewmen had to be rescued by the Indian Coast Guard after the containership they were on snapped in half and sank off Yemen. The hull of the MV MOL COMFORT broke in two, forcing its crew to abandon ship. The men were plucked from the rough waters. Three nearby vessels aided in the rescue of the mariners, after they managed to get off the ship into two life rafts and a lifeboat. They are being transported to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The damaged vessel sank shortly afterwards in the same position, with most of its 4,500 containers scattered in the Arabian Sea, with an unspecified amount of oil spilled. The cause of the disaster and type of cargo onboard were not immediately known.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) reports that the MOL-operated containership MOL Comfort, while under way from Singapore to Jeddah on the Indian Ocean (12’30”N 60’E) at about noon JST (07:00 local time) on June 17, 2013 during inclement weather, suffered a crack amidships and ingressing water in the hold. This made it impossible for the vessel to continue on under its own power.
Some of the containers on the vessel were lost overboard or suffered damage during the incident. Details are being confirmed. The damage to the MOL Comfort is extensive, while the 26 crew members took to lifeboats. All were safely rescued by other vessel in the area.
MOL immediately set up the Emergency Control Headquarters (headed by President Koichi Muto) for the incident, and is taking company-wide measures necessary to settle the matter properly.