Koichi Muto, President of Mitsui OSK Lines, has confirmed his company has embarked on a number of support activities to assist victims of the devastating earthquake which struck on 11th March off the coast of Japan, creating tsunami waves of up to 10 metres.
In addition to a charity donation program within the MOL Group, the company will donate ¥50 million to aid support and rescue of victims. Mr Muto also confirmed that at the request of the government, MOL Ferry Co. is assisting with the transportation of members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) who have been assigned to rescue efforts in north east Japan.
Four ferries – Sunflower Sapporo, Sunflower Furano, Sunflower Shiretoko and Sunflower Daisetsu have commenced transport of vehicles and members of the JSDF from Tomakomai in Hokkaido to the city of Aomori, close to the area affected by the quake.
Mr Muto expressed sympathy to those affected by the earthquake and also described how his company is still gathering data concerning MOL-operated vessels which may have been affected by the quake. So far, none of the company’s vessels are known to have been involved in any serious maritime accidents.
However, the C.S. Victory, a 20,212 dwt MOL-chartered Panama Flag vessel was carried towards the breakwater by the tsunami and has now rested at the bottom of the shallow harbour at Ishinomaki. No crew members were injured as none of the cargo (kaolin) or fuel oil spilled from the ship.