On September 12, the 30 meter long, 218 gt towboat Jacob Kyle Rusthoven caught fire on the Mississippi River at mile marker 664 near Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. The towboat was pushing 9 barges loaded with rocks when the fire broke out in the vessel’s engine room. The crew was unable to contain the blaze and sent out a distress call. A nearby vessel came to their and evacuated the crew. The Jacob Kyle Rusthoven was then pushed to the Arkansas shoreline where local fire fighters were able to extinguish the blaze 7 hours later. No reports of injuries.
The Coast Guard had stopped nearby traffic on the Mississippi River during the incident. Reports state the Jacob Kyle Rusthoven had some 13,300 gallons of diesel fuel on board at the time, but no pollution was detected. Authorities stated that 3 of the rock barges had broken free during the incident, but were later recovered.
On July 29, the 30 meter long passenger 2-masted sailing ship Helena ran aground off Kjeholmen, Norway. The vessel was on a charter voyage with 123 passengers when it ran aground onto the rocks. Reports state the master of the Helena thought the water was deeper than it was actually. There was no panic on board and the vessel suffered minimal damage as it was proceeding at a slow speed. The vessel contacted the NSSR who dispatched a lifeboat to the scene. Half a hour later, the lifeboat pulled the Helena free. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released.
The 63 meter long self-propelled barge Helena went aground on a sandbar at Haringvliet, Netherlands. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released. Initial attempts to refloat the Helena failed. Another vessel came to the Helena’s aid, but it also was unable to pull the Helena free. A lighter with a crane arrived the following day and began removing cargo off the Helena so that it could be refloated. Reports state the vessel went aground due to the master of the Helena had fallen asleep. No further details reported.