On January 31, the 87 foot long fishing vessel Sunnfjord sank off Cape Alava, Washington. The Sunnfjord had suffered water ingress and the vessel’s pumps had failed. Unable to control the flooding, the crew contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. The Coast Guard dispatched several cutters, motor lifeboats and a helicopter to scene. Rescuers arrived on scene and first attempted to pass over dewatering pumps to the Sunnfjord. The pumps were unable to stop the flooding and the five crew abandoned ship. The crew were rescued before the Sunnfjord sank in 300 feet of water. No reports of injuries. The Sunnfjord had some 800 gallons of diesel fuel on board at the time of the sinking.
On January 24, the towboat Virginia Renee sank on the Mississippi River at Hickman Landing near Blytheville, Arkansas. The towboat had sunk at its berth releasing oil pollution into the river. Booms and absorbent pads were placed around the Virginia Renee to contain the pollution.
Reports state the towboat had some 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board at the time of the sinking. The Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the incident. No reports of injuries.
The 71 meter long, 1600 dwt cargo vessel Jian Hong No. 1 sank in the Taiwan Strait near Wenzhou, China. The Jian Hong No. 1 was en route to South Korea from Taichung with a cargo of sugar when it sank between Taiwan and Wenzhou. The crew was able to send out a distress call before the vessel sank. A dual search and rescue operation from China and Taiwan found two crew members of the Jian Hong No. 1 alive. The two were pulled from the sea and hoisted to safety by search helicopters. Eight crew were still reported as missing. The cause of the sinking was not reported. The Mongolian registered vessel was built in 1980 and may have suffered hull failure during the voyage.