IACS comments on MOL Comfort report

Five year old containership broke in two after encountering heavy weather Five year old containership broke in two after encountering heavy weather

MARCH 6, 2015 — The final report issued in Japan by the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety (CLCSS) concludes that the June 2013 break up of the containership MOL Comfort possibly occurred because the sea loads exceeded the hull girder ultimate strength at the time of the casualty.

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) says that it will carefully study the report and its recommendations  and will make public the results of its examination.

IACS notes that at the beginning of 2014 it set up an expert group on structural safety of containerships that carried out a post MOL Comfort review, also taking into account a number of past casualties. This work has resulted in the development of two new IACS Unified Requirements (URs)

  • UR S11A which is a longitudinal strength standard for containerships
  • URS 34 dealing with functional requirements for direct analysis by Finite Element Method of containerships, including a set of loading conditions.

IACS says that this ongoing work had already taken into account the recommendations made by Japan's CLCSS.

IACS says the two new Unified Requirements do take into account the effect of lateral loads on bi‐axial buckling of stiffened panels (a phenomenon preceding loss of ultimate strength) and whipping on vertical bending strength.

Commenting on a third recommendation of the CLCSS report (representation of technical backgrounds), IACS says that classification societies' rules already consider the strength of the ship under specified operating and environmental conditions corresponding to its entire life.

UR S11A and URS 34 will be finalized in the coming months.

IACS says that "as a matter of clarity it should be understood that IACS Unified Requirements are minimum common technical requirements to be incorporated into the rules of each individual member. URs are not intended to address all the strength aspects of hull structures, which remains the function and responsibility of each class society."

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