Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced that the towing line has been reconnected to the fore section of the MOL Comfort and the tow has resumed. Previously It’s a bit of a setback for the salvors, however considering the situation, it’s perhaps not all that unexpected.
The veteran tugboat sailor Paul Berdy notes that, “When you make up the tow from a salvage operation, the tow points don’t actually exist, so you’re kind of shooting from the hip. It’s not like you have ABS-inspected towing bits installed on the vessel, so you’re rigging on the spot to make this happen.”
MOL didn’t mention how or where the towing wire became disconnected, but Berdy brings up a valid point. The fore-part of the MOL Comfort is being pulled from it’s stern, if you can really call it that, which is really nothing more than a bulkhead that used to be inside the ship.
At first glance, it seems odd that the salvors chose to tow the ship backwards, but it’s likely that the bow, in its present downward trim, is likely acting more like a rudder. Towing the ship from the bow, with the stern out of the water, may likely make the ship extremely difficult to maneuver in a straight line.
Now the tow is traveling at a speed of about 2 knots.At that speed, they’ll reach Salalah, Oman (845 nautical miles away) in roughly 18 days .