On January 26, the 90 meter long cargo vessel Frakt Fjord ran aground in the Kolding Fjord just outside Kolding, Denmark. The vessel was being piloted into the harbor when it ran aground just outside the fairway. A tug was dispatched to the scene after initial attempts to refloat the Frakt Fjord had failed. No reports of injuries.
Reports state another attempt to refloat the Frakt Fjord will be done on the next high tide. The Frakt Fjord had sailed from Norway with a cargo of gravel and sand bound for Kolding. Authorities are monitoring the situation and have reported there is no signs of hull damage or pollution released.
On January 24, the 42 meter long towboat George King caught fire on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. The fire started in the vessel’s engine room and quickly engulfed the superstructure. The nine crew on board were able escape the flames by climbing onto the barges being pushed by the George King. The 168 foot long towboat Michael Reeves came to their assistance and pushed the George King ashore onto the river bank. No reports of injuries.
The Coast Guard along with other local and state authorities arrived on scene a short time later. River traffic was restricted while authorities extinguished the blaze. A boom and absorbent pads were placed around the George King to contain any pollution. Reports state there was 65,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board the George King.
The fire had gutted most the towboat’s superstructure and no reports if the George King will be salvaged or scrapped.
The 17.5 meter long wooden catamaran ferry Butiraoi was reported missing in the Pacific Ocean in the Kiribati Islands. The Butiraoi had departed from Nonouti on January 18 bound for Betio. The voyage of 160 miles typically takes 2 days to complete failed to arrive on January 20. A search began for the missing vessel including aircraft from New Zealand and Fiji.
Reports state no signs of the vessel or the 50 persons on board as of January 26. The search includes many small atolls in a wide area. Additional reports state the catamaran had undergone repairs to its propeller shaft just before departing Nonouti.
A New Zealand aircraft spotted seven survivors in a small boat on a search on January 28. The aircraft dropped supplies to the survivors while authorities requested assistance from vessels in the area. The fishing vessel Lomalo which is 92 kilometers away from the survivors is expected to reach the survivors later the same day.
Survivors have told authorities over radio that the ferry had lost stability and capsized. They had little time and had just enough time to get into the small dinghy before the ferry sank. The dinghy had no engine or water on board.
Reports state additional debris has been spotted in the search area.