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Container Ship Breaks In Two, Sinks

Soulskill posted 1 year,13 days | from the how-not-to-ocean dept.

Transportation 361

Cliff Stoll writes "Along with 7000 containers, ship MOL Comfort broke in half in high seas in the Indian Ocean. The aft section floated for a week, then sank on June 27th. The forward section was towed most of the way to port, but burned and sank on July 10th. This post-panamax ship was 316 meters long and only 5 years old. With a typical value of $40,000 per container (PDF), this amounts to a quarter billion dollar loss. The cause is unknown, but may be structural or perhaps due to overfilled containers that are declared as underweight. Of course, the software used to calculate ship stability relies upon these incorrect physical parameters."

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361 comments

Bing it on! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265685)

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Does this type of marketing actually work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265781)

Well, at least you got paid already probably.

Declared underweight? (5, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265689)

so they operate on an honor system?

One would think they'd weigh the container themselves and charge accordingly. But then I'm not in the shipping business so I dunno...

Re:Declared underweight? (1, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265715)

If that's the case just another prime example of how self regulated business leads to disaster in pursuit of profit..

Re:Declared underweight? (3, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265753)

leads to disaster in pursuit of profit..

Yes... because the shipping company doesn't worry at all about overloaded containers or ships at all.

We'll just ignore the massive costs should go something go wrong that they are oblivious to in your world.

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265783)

because the shipping company doesn't worry at all about overloaded containers or ships at all.

Why should they? They're insured.

Re:Declared underweight? (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265921)

I think a quarter-billion dollar claim might cause the insurance company to raise their premiums just a tad...

Re:Declared underweight? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265965)

> Why should they? They're insured.

Wow you're dumb.

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Insightful)

Q-Hack! (37846) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265977)

You don't think the insurance company might have a problem with this? If the shipping company was insured, the insurance company will eventually step in and demand the shipping company fix the issue or start denying claims. If the shipping company wasn't insured, well... they end up going out of business. Either way, the problem is self correcting over the long term.

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266037)

. If the shipping company wasn't insured, well... they end up going out of business.

Wonder the corporate structure of those companies.

Could they run each ship as an independant-but-almost-wholy-owned company and send just that not-quite-subsidary through bankrupcy, pushing the losses to other people? (kinda like the games it seems Cerberus did with GMAC & Chrysler Financial [bloomberg.com] )

Re:Declared underweight? (3, Insightful)

Motard (1553251) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266011)

I think you could stand to learn a lot more about insurance.

Re:Declared underweight? (2, Interesting)

Jaime2 (824950) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266045)

How do you overload a ship? It has a load line on the side of the hull. If there's too much stuff on it, everyone knows just by looking.

Re:Declared underweight? (5, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266093)

Moments, how do they work?

If you load the shit out of the topmost containers, it gets tippy as fuck. As an example of "huh", there's a thing that's going on the mast of a ship that I've worked on. The thing doesn't weigh that much -- although it's being loaded by crane, I could lift it by myself.

To compensate, way more ballast than I can lift is going in the hull.

Re:Declared underweight? (0, Troll)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265791)

Sssh. You're interfering with his world view.

Re:Declared underweight? (1, Troll)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265811)

leads to disaster in pursuit of profit..

Yes... because the shipping company doesn't worry at all about overloaded containers or ships at all.

We'll just ignore the massive costs should go something go wrong that they are oblivious to in your world.

Love your theory about self-regulation, but it's a shame that many a good theory doesn't survive contact with reality.

Re:Declared underweight? (2)

Motard (1553251) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265979)

It's not a theory, is it? That's one hell of an implicit fine - loss of mega-dollar a ship and a mega-dollar cargo.

Re:Declared underweight? (3, Insightful)

Q-Hack! (37846) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266007)

The theory about self-regulation works just fine. It just doesn't stand up so well, when governments step in and bail out the industries and or insurance companies.

Re:Declared underweight? (2, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266019)

Because businesses are run by people, and people aren't rational.

The *rational* thing to do is make sure your ships are safe so that you don't waste a quarter billion dollars. However, since it's *unlikely* that a ship will sink, people in pursuit of immediate profits overload them. People love playing the odds.

Also, absent any real numbers about how much extra money companies can make by slipping on tons of extra cargo, you can't say for sure that this *isn't* more profitable than doing things safely. That is, if you practice Randian amoral rationality, it may actually be the *rational* choice to load your ships up so much they occasionally break in half, because it might ultimately save you money.

Re:Declared underweight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265817)

so they operate on an honor system?

One would think they'd weigh the container themselves and charge accordingly. But then I'm not in the shipping business so I dunno...

If that's the case just another prime example of how self regulated business leads to disaster in pursuit of profit..

Anybody who thinks honour-systems or voluntary self-regulation actually works is a dumber than a barrel of bricks. That being said I don't think that they are that naive. It's probably either a case of they guy doing the weighing taking bribes or under-declaring the weight of containers as a part of corporate policy.

Re:Declared underweight? (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265901)

And governmental regulation would fix this how? by costing more money?

Re:Declared underweight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265939)

As though HIGHLY regulated businesses - read: the nuclear power industry, air travel, rail and auto transport, oil and gas, etc. etc. - don't also have disasters.

What about other highly regulated industries? We just got an object lesson this last week that the airline industry doesn't have its share of disasters.

You might want to get off your soap box before making another Occupy-inspired bit of bloviating nonsense.

Re: Declared underweight? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265993)

Hey dumbass, and you know when these accidents happen? Yeah that's right, when people violate the regs.

What a dumb shit. You probably work on wallstreet (or at Mcdonalds).

Re: Declared underweight? (1)

DaHat (247651) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266123)

Hey dumbass, and you know when these accidents happen? Yeah that's right, when people violate the regs.

Clearly then the regulations are in error as they are not strict enough! ... or they do not apply to all situations.

I sit here typing this from the state of Washington where we had a bridge collapse due to a truck with a rather large cargo behind traveling over it recently and causing the collapse.

Despite following the regulations related to having a pilot vehicle and setting it's pole to the right height...the local regulations just didn't account for all the nuances of the bridge and now though the company can rightly say "We did everything we were told to" and escape quite a bit of liability.

Re:Declared underweight? (1)

DaHat (247651) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265733)

While I agree... I can only imagine the time cost involved in doing so... unless the cranes used for loading have a built in (and very precise) scale that could be used for such purposes.

Re:Declared underweight? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265821)

How precise does it need to be, I wonder? If the purpose is to avoid having the ship exceed its load specifications, I suspect it wouldn't have to be precise to the ounce.

"And now, one wafer thin mint."

Re:Declared underweight? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265833)

Why very precise? +/- 5 pounds should do. (Unless you call that precise.) A simple high capacity metal bend gauge with a fallback locking mechanism would be child's play to get this working. Of course.... For them... I'd charge $5 billion dollars! Muahhaha.

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265963)

Hell, +/- 1000 pounds would probably be good enough, and even that might be more sensitive than actually needed. A typical shipping container weighs on the order of ~30,000-50,000 pounds (~15,000-25,000 kg). A ship isn't going to sink because a declared-as-40,000 lb container was actually 40,050 lbs. Even if a company loading 1,000 containers systemically mis-declared by 50 lbs and they all got loaded in some asymmetrical way, that'd still only be a 50,000 lbs error, equal to about one shipping container. A modern cargo ship is not going to sink because of an asymmetric load, or an over-load, equal to one shipping container.

If underdeclaring weight became a stability problem sufficient to sink the ship, my guess is that a substantial number of the containers were reporting numbers way off the real values.

Re:Declared underweight? (2)

Firethorn (177587) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266029)

Residential weight scales, when they're digital, are generally accurate to 1, .5, or .2 pounds. Figuring that people who worry about that are 200 pounds(for ease), that's around .5, .25, .1% margin of error.

A standard 20' container can weigh as much as 53k pounds [wikipedia.org] . 5 pounds for that would be .009% error. Or around 10 times more accurate than the best commonly available bathroom scales.

I'd call that 'precise'. Of course, given industry I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they're accurate to within the pound.

Re:Declared underweight? (1)

guruevi (827432) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266063)

a 10 lbs (4.5kg) variation is pretty precise on a thing that can weigh up to about 30 ton - that's 0.015 percent - a precision lab scale is typically 0.05 percent precise. Besides the technical implementation of a scale on a crane (something that won't break after being repeatedly strained), even a 300kg precision (1%) would lead to a worst-case scenario deviation of 3500 * 300kg = 1050 ton which is a LOT on a ship.

The only thing I can think of is using some type of solid-state scale on the ship itself but I don't know if those even exist and would be capable of withstanding the abuse from a journey at sea (containers slamming around and falling, salt water, freezing cold or scorching heat)

Re:Declared underweight? (1)

waddgodd (34934) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266087)

You mean a strain gauge on the winch? Yeah, NFW anyone could set that up

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266095)

Many cranes DO have a scale built in. 250,000 Kg capacity accurate to 50Kg. That should do the job.

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265799)

It was my understanding that the cranes weigh each container as they are loaded on the ship. This is done because they can't afford mistakes in calculating the center of gravity of the ship. There is no honor system.

Re:Declared underweight? (2)

Firethorn (177587) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266053)

What if somebody is bribing the crane operator or whoever collects up all the paperwork? Sadly, in the world of business you have to count on corruption more than not, especially outside the USA.

Re:Declared underweight? (2)

Motard (1553251) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265803)

Well, if your software relies on incorrect parameters (as stated in the summary), you wouldn't want to go fixing that.

Re:Declared underweight? (2)

dj245 (732906) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265825)

so they operate on an honor system?

One would think they'd weigh the container themselves and charge accordingly. But then I'm not in the shipping business so I dunno...

The Maersk EEE class ships can hold roughly 18,000 20-foot containers. Do you think it is practical to weigh all of them?

It is relatively easy to put a load cell on a crane and weigh a container there. One could envision a system where the crane weighed the container and then decided where it should go. However, this is tricky because these ships are usually loaded by many cranes at once and you can't decide that the container is too heavy and should be put in place by a different crane.

Re:Declared underweight? (3, Insightful)

ImprovOmega (744717) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265865)

I think it's practical to weigh each one on the crane lifting it and if it's more than maybe 3-4% over the declared weight you don't ship it. Especially if failure to do so can cause a $250 million whoopsie.

Re:Declared underweight? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266075)

You might be able to just put the container away, continue loading and then at the end correct the center of gravity with a container filled with the correct amount of bricks (the idiot who misdeclared the weight was nice enough to leave room on the ship for the brick container).

Common in aviation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265835)

This is very common in aviation. The pilot gets weights on sealed items that he can't personally weigh, but got sworn certificates of weight... then finds out once in the air, he was lied to. Plane crashed, and almost always it gets listed as pilot error, because it is the word of the pilot against others who will swear up and down their cargo weighs just "x" amount, when it really is "2x".

Re:Declared underweight? (4, Informative)

Jaime2 (824950) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265981)

Perhaps they could paint a line on the side of a large vessel floating in water and see if the containers displace enough water to submerge the line. Oh wait, that's what they do with all container ships. It's impossible for the whole ship to be over weight. It is possible to have a poorly distributed load, but that's not likely to cause the type of accident that happened here (it would more likely lead to capsizing).

Overweight containers are more of a financial issue than a safety issue. Leaving 500 containers on the dock or leaving under-loaded are both bad for business.

Re:Declared underweight? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266069)

Perhaps they could paint a line on the side of a large vessel floating in water and see if the containers displace enough water to submerge the line.

Eureka!

Re:Declared underweight? (0)

Kiralan (765796) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266003)

I would at least look at the ship after loading, and see where the waterline is. That would at least tell you the total cargo weight, with I think enough accuracy to indicate overloading.

Re:Declared underweight? (1, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266015)

That doesn't pass the sniff test: every cargo ship has a built-in way of determining precisely how heavily it's loaded. It consists of a few ounces of paint, and it's called a Plimsoll line...

So do those containers sink or float? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265701)

If they are airtight, maybe some could float? If you bump into one of those 7000 while you are out jet skiing, can you take it home as yours? Finders keepers? Or does the shipping company still own the containers?

Re:So do those containers sink or float? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265787)

If they are airtight, maybe some could float? If you bump into one of those 7000 while you are out jet skiing, can you take it home as yours? Finders keepers? Or does the shipping company still own the containers?

Given the assumption that shoddy and/or shady business practices involving lying about shipping weight to save a few bucks in shipping most likely led to this disaster, I think we can pretty well assume the containers are of equal quality and quite not airtight for the same reasons.

Re:So do those containers sink or float? (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265895)

Considering that even the smallest class of these containers weighs two tons when *empty*, I don't think you and your jet-ski are hauling it home anytime soon.

Re:So do those containers sink or float? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266047)

I can't say about a jet ski but I have pulled a couple tons of boat back to a dock using a rope without too much pain.

Re:So do those containers sink or float? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265905)

It depends a lot on the container design itself, but most containers are not designed as boat replacements. In a lot of cases, you have holes in the bottom for attaching hold down cables. Some have those roll-down doors, that are not air-tight. There are many different designs,

oblig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265705)

reference to:
sank.
sank.
burned down, fell over, sank.

Titanic? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265707)

Together with her sister ships, MOL Comfort was the first container ship classified by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai to utilize ultra high-strength steel with an yield strength of 470 MPa in her hull structure.

Stiff brittle ship snaps like golf club in heavy seas?

Re:Titanic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266049)

Remember the Liberty Ships during WW2

I am tired of industry re-learning past mistakes. Liberty Ship Failures are a classic "oh-shit" moment in the learning curve of not using high strength aka brittle aka not damage-tolerant metals

I see the same thing with the Boeing Deathliners er Dreamliners -- lost technological knowledge lost because terminate the experienced staff and offshore the work to 3rd world countries who lack the experience base and lack the standards.

In reference to not knowing the weight of the container -- that can be handled very simply by the cranes by adding load cells to the lifting mechanism.

Wake up -- problem is MBA's make decisions that used to be made by engineers. That is the only real cause of the new round of failures.

Time to smell the coffee.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265711)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265841)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died.

mods, every time you down mod, i will repost.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265969)

Good use of your time i guess.

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266089)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died. .

Re:lol (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265975)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died.

mods, every time you down mod, i will repost.

You show 'em AC. You should try out th e Yahoo comment boards - your kind of folk.

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266057)

You better watch your fucking mouth when you speak to me, boy. I'll fucking beat the shit out of you, mexican.

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266039)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died.

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266073)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died..

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266085)

lol fucking idiots, i hope a lot of people died...

Save a dime, Lose millions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265713)

Capitalism at its finest.

Re:Save a dime, Lose millions. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265743)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

It was Kaiju (2, Funny)

Valentinial (2980593) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265719)

This was not an accident, It was Kaiju. I just saw this happen at the movies. Cover up!

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265737)

News for nerds?

Re:LOL (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265827)

News for nerds?

Nautical nerds. Don't you watch SpongeBob?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265903)

They were shipping Krabby Patties?

Tough ship (2)

steamraven (2428480) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265745)

After "Breaking in half", the apt part stays up for a week. The forward section stays afloat for over three weeks before it bursts into flames before sinking. Sounds like God wanted that ship sunk.

Re:Tough ship (2)

neminem (561346) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265915)

When you write it like that... all I can think is, "the first piece sank into the sea. The second piece burned down, fell over, *then* sank into the sea." (If only it had broken into four pieces, it would've worked better. Especially if the fourth piece had made it to shore.)

Re:Tough ship (1)

steamraven (2428480) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266137)

But it has HUGE tracts of ...... sea?

Re:Tough ship (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265959)

The forward section stays afloat for over three weeks before it bursts into flames before sinking.

Was it carrying a 787 as cargo?

Great photos (3, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265755)

I encourage everyone to click on the first link, there are bunch of great photos, all on one page (no slideshow).

Re:Great photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265913)

They give the exact figure of 7,041 TEUs as well. How the submitter arrived at 7k x $40k = $.25 billion is anyone's guess, as is usually the case with /. FSs.

Re:Great photos (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265987)

I encourage everyone to click on the first link, there are bunch of great photos, all on one page (no slideshow).

That's how these things reproduce you insensitive clods!

Re:Great photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266113)

Shut the fuck up, bitch.

Here's one relevant question: (2)

bogaboga (793279) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265789)

Where was it built?

I have an answer: Not the United States, for we outsourced serious commercial ship building, like most critical industries, to "third world" countries, whose sysyetms aren't as advanced or sophisticated as ours...

Oh wait...wasn't there a fire on the recently overhauled Dreamliner? Wait a second...it's also American built!

Nagasaki, Japan (3, Informative)

LordZardoz (155141) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265957)

According to Wikipedia:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki, Japan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOL_Comfort [wikipedia.org]

So when did Japan become a 3rd world country that lacked advanced and sophisticated systems?

END COMMUNICATION

Re:Here's one relevant question: (2)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266025)

It was built in Japan, which has dominated commercial shipbuilding over the past 40 years. It doesn't dominate quite as much anymore, but it still has a large share of the market. It's basically Japan and South Korea building most ships; China is spending massive amounts of money to break into the market, but is still under 10%.

It was a N.Korean Sub! (1)

some old guy (674482) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265839)

Aiming at a stationary fishing boat near Sydney, Australia.

Re:It was a N.Korean Sub! (1)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265893)

Aiming at a stationary fishing boat near Sydney, Australia.

if that's true, i'd be more worried that North Korea's navy (ahem) apparently has torpedo technology that can hit targets in an entirely different oceanic region.

Re:It was a N.Korean Sub! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265943)

They were firing the dreaded Glorious Leader Mk. XIII Ocean World Dominator weapon from a secret location near Antarctica.

Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265853)

If a container ship broke in two and still floated -- now that would be news.

Come on people... we can't be that desperate for news today... can we?

Re:Why is this news? (2)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265907)

Apparently there were no Bitcoin or Raspberry Pi stories to post.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

dk20 (914954) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266009)

We can, wasn't this story first covered back in JUNE 29?

train wreck because of wieght (0)

MonsterMasher (518641) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265855)

There is at least one case where because of the use of too few train engines were used many people died. Down a hill into a town the trains brake system was unable to handle the forces of the freight train line. The engineer, not realizing that doing so would disengage the autosystem break when the engineer engaged the emergency break, which just locks wheels (less effective!)

The train raced into town and derailed, killing many many people and destroying section of the physical town.

Of course an independent measurement system must be used when there is a shirt-sighted profit motive to incorrectly state weight.

Arrgh (2)

nurb432 (527695) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265861)

There goes the package i was waiting on..

Why two? (4, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265873)

Why can't ships break in three or break in four even? I mean really. What ever happened to creative engineering?

Should've just paid the ransom (5, Funny)

AEton (654737) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265923)

I guess the Da Vinci virus wasn't playing around. Bummer.

Re:Should've just paid the ransom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266021)

Winner winner chicken dinner!

So I built the first one (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265925)

It sank into the swamp.

So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp.

So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.

Easy solution for catching this kind of thing (0)

Lendrick (314723) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265931)

The people in charge of making sure ships don't sneak out of port without paying for their taxes need to measure where the water line is on the ship when it enters port, then measure it again when the ship leaves, then use the blueprint of the ship to calculate how much more water is being displaced and how much that water weighs. All you need in order to do this is measuring tape, a calculator, and a blueprint of the ship.

Re:Easy solution for catching this kind of thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266065)

Yes of course and then factor in the 3,000 tons of bunker fuel. Compare the density of that fuel to the seawater it is floating in. Make an allowance for the amount of fuel that was already on board when it pulled into port and any equipment that was added or removed during the time in port. It is really quite simple, trivial even.

Please share more of your physics genius with us. I'm sure most of the world's problems can be circumvented with a measuring tape, a calculator and a database of blueprints for every object in the world.

Re:Easy solution for catching this kind of thing (1)

Lendrick (314723) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266119)

You mean figure out how much fuel was added to a ship that you just refueled in your harbor? You already have that information.

Still trivial.

Testament to Good Design (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265971)

This thing was clearly designed well. Ignoring the fact that it sank, yeah that was bad, It fucking split in two, then sat there for a week without issue, and then half sank. Then the other bit taking another two weeks to sink. Holy fuck.

Container weight? Probably not? (2)

mveloso (325617) | 1 year,13 days | (#44265985)

There is an incentive to declare your container overweight, because there is a weight limit for each container. Two containers is more expensive than one, obviously. So you are incentivized to pack your stuff as tightly as possible.

However, there's a limit to how overweight your container can be. The container can hold around 28,000 kg. Its interior dimensions, however, are pretty fixed. How dense can you pack your goods? If you've done any shipping, you know that while you can pack stuff in, there's a point where you'll damage your goods. That's even more applicable for heavy goods, like industrial equipment.

Do they actually use software to place containers? My limited exposure to a container yard says no. They load the boxes on there, and well, where it goes is where it goes.

If it really was due to being overweight, how much overweight would each container have to be to cause the ship to snap in half?

Salvage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44265991)

Based on my admittedly poor knowledgeof maritime law, since the container ship sank on the high seas, it is now fair game for any salvage company willing to undertake the project. I'm sure there are a lot of factors to take into account (location, type of cargo, etc.), but 1/4 billion dollars worth of cargo is not chump change. There are probably a lot of salvagers doing some cost/benefit analysis right now.

Along with... (1)

su5so10 (2542686) | 1 year,13 days | (#44266005)

"Along with 7000 containers, ship MOL Comfort broke in half..." How did all 7000 containers happen to break in half?

THE Cliff Stoll? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266051)

From The Cuckoo's Egg fame? Remember reading the paperback years ago. Will have to pull it out and read it again.

Makes me want to play X-Com 2 again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44266083)

Hunt for the last alien in a giant cargo ship!
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