06 Maret 2015

[060315.EN.SEA] Hull Girders Too Weak To Take MOL Comfort's Load In Heavy Seas: Probe

SEA loads aboard the doomed 8,110-TEU MOL Comfort were too much for the hull girders to bear, resulting in the ship splitting two and sinking in June 2013, says the final report of the Japanese government inquiry.

MOL is suing the vessel's builder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for damages. Claims against the shipbuilder have exceeded US$500 million.

MOL Comfort cracked and then split in two while in heavy seas 200 nautical miles off Yemen.

The report from the Japanese government's Committee on Large Container Ship Safety said computer simulation showed the hull was weaker than the lateral and vertical bending loads it experienced at the time of the cracking.

The report said that the hull fracture originated from the bottom shell plates in MOL Comfort's midship section, reports New York's Maritime Executive.

The simulation included whipping motion loads. Whipping is the vibration of hull girders that occurs when the bow breaks free of the water and then re-enters.

The report recommends that International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) rules for containerships over 8,000 TEU include lateral loads in the assessment of overall structural strength. They should also include whipping effects in longitudinal strength calculations, said the report.

IACS has confirmed that it has received the report and has already taken into account its recommendations and findings.

Source : HKSG.

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