June 24, 2013

Inmarsat Saves the Day After Container Ship Splits

Inmarsat saves the dayThe crew of a container ship that broke in two in heavy seas were rescued with the help of Inmarsat safety services.


The 316-metre (1,037-ft) Mitsui OSK Line vessel, MOL Comfort, was 200 miles off Yemen en route to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on 17 June when it suffered catastrophic hull failure. The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Mumbai used Inmarsat to alert three vessels in the area. The officials said that the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai diverted three ships; MV Hanjin Bejing, MV Zim India and MV Yantian Express, which were travelling nearby, for the rescue operation.


Just when the vessel suffered hull failure, the 26-strong crew alerted the Indian Coast Guard that they were abandoning ship and were able to escape in a lifeboat and two life rafts before the carrier – loaded with about 7,000 containers – split in half.


The MV Yantian Express was first to arrive on scene and picked up the crew. There were no reported injuries. "The quick rescue would have not been possible without the use of Inmarsat," said Mumbai MRCC Commandant NV Rama Rao.


According to Inmarsat’s corporate website; the two sections of the vessel are now drifting 20 nautical miles apart in the Indian Ocean.


The Japanese shipping company has sent a patrol boat to monitor the situation until tugboats can tow the wreckage to port.


Meanwhile the coast guard is using Inmarsat’s EGC SafetyNet service to provide updates for other vessels in the area.


The cause behind the incident was yet to be ascertained. It was also not known what the ship was transporting. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has started investigating the cause of the incident jointly with the vessel’s shipbuilder.

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