Mitsui OSK Lines says the fore section of MOL Comfort has sunk in the Indian Ocean despite salvage and coastguard teams battling for seven days to contain a blaze that broke out on board after the vessel split in heavy seas.
MOL Comfort sank in high seas near 19º56’N and 065º25’E in waters around 3,000 metres deep at about 0400 hrs Japan standard time on 11 July, MOL said in a statement .
“We have reported this fact 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.”
The salvage team comprises Smit Salvage, which was overseeing the operation from Singapore, and Nippon Salvage.
The Indian Coast Guard sent a patrol vessel with firefighting capability two days go to help put out the fire.
The 2008-built, 8,110 teu ship ruptured on 17 June off the coast of Yemen while en route from Singapore to Jeddah with some 4,372 boxes on board.
It split in two the following morning and the stern section sank after drifting for 10 days.
Tugs reached the forward section, which still had much cargo intact, on 24 June, which slipped free from its tow wire on 1 July, but was reattached on 3 July.
Adverse weather has hampered the salvage operation since it began.