On its last voyage, the MOL Comfort was half loaded, carrying 4,382 containers. Enough for its unknown cargo to become the biggest loss in history.
In June 2013, the 8110 teu container ship MOL Comfort broke in two in the Indian Ocean. The descent was very slow and It lasted almost a month, until July 11. The crew was rescued by another container ship, while the two pieces of ship separated, and continued sailing on their own, loaded with containers.
LOST AT SEA
The World Shipping Council (WSC) Containers Lost at Sea Report covering 2020-2021 shows that containers lost overboard represent less than one thousandth of 1% (0.001%) of the roughly 241 million packed and empty containers currently shipped each year.
The WSC estimates that there were on average a total of 1,629 containers lost at sea each year between 2008 – 2021.
The biggest container losses in the last 10 years were:
2014. Svendborg Maersk lost 517 containers in rough weather in the Bay of Biscay.
2015. El Faro sank in a hurricane off the Bahamas losing 33 crew and 391 containers.
2019. MSC Zoe lost 342 boxes in a storm in the North Sea.
2020. ONE APUS lost 1816 in a storm cell in the North Pacific Ocean.
2021. Maersk Essen lost 750 containers in the North Pacific Ocean.