The 15 meter long fishing vessel Gyotoku Maru No. 1 capsized in the Pacific Ocean near the island of Palau. The Gyotoku Maru No. 1 had been fishing for tuna with 7 crew when it sent out a distress call. Authorities from Japan, Palau and United States dispatched aircraft and ships to the area. When rescuers arrived on scene, they found the longliner capsized on its starboard hull and partially sunk. Pollution could be spotted as the diesel fuel had leaked from the fishing vessel. However, there was no signs of the 7 crewmen. Reports state authorities continue to search the area for the missing crew.
On October 18, the 69.5 meter long, 2494 dwt fish carrier Seikongen capsized and sank near Puerto Montt, Chile. The Seikongen loaded with 200 kilos of salmon bound for Chonchi when it suffered water ingress in the bow. Even though the Seikongen was nearly brand new, the fish carrier’s pumps were unable to control the flooding. To avoid sinking, the master of the Seikongen changed course for the closest shallow water. The Seikongen was able to run aground and it looked if the vessel would avoid sinking. However, the flooding continued causing the vessel to lose stability and develop a list to starboard. A short time later the vessel rolled over onto its side and sank just below the surface.
Reports state the 11 crew on board the Seikongen were safely evacuated before the vessel sank. Authorities deployed booms around the wreck in hopes to contain any pollution released. The Seikongen had some 67,000 litres of fuel on board at the time. Chilean Navy divers have inspected the hull and report no fuel leaks. Authorities have also stated the cargo of 37,000 salmon have most likely perished in the holds and would be left in the sealed holds to avoid damaging the environment.
The owners of the Seikongen are coordinating salvage efforts with Chilean authorities. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On October 16, the 17 meter long fishing vessel Dianne capsized in Bustard Bay near Seventeen Seventy, Queensland, Australia. The trawler had capsized in bad weather during the night with the master at the helm and six crew asleep below. One crewman was able escape from the overturn vessel and clung to the hull for several hours before the Dianne sank. A passing yacht spotted him in the water and rescued him.
Reports state that several other crew had survived the capsizing and could be heard tapping inside the hull before the vessel sank. Authorities have launched a search and rescue in the surrounding area, but weather conditions has slowed the effort. The six crew were still reported as missing.