Posted on June 03, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Ecuador-flagged Passenger ship, Galapagos Majestic ran aground and sank during the morning hours of May 31st while transiting through the Galapagos Archipelago.
The incident occurred at approximately 09:30 am UTC, near the northern coast of Santiago island.
The vessel ran aground near the coast, breaching the hull near its bow in the process.
The vessel began to list on its starboard side, which raised concerns over the wellbeing of the passengers, prompting the Ecuadorian authorities to send a rescue vessel to the distressed ship.
In the meantime, the crew & passengers of the vessel managed to get onboard the ship's two life rafts.
Having arrived at the scene, the Ecuadorian Coast Guard vessel, Isla San Cristobal successfully rescued the 26 people, which includes 14 tourists, 2 tour guides and 10 crew members, and take them to Puerto Ayora.
Both the Ecuadorian Navy and Coast Guard tried over the next 6 hours to salvage the grounded vessel but ultimately failed.
The vessel proceeded to sink, with over 800 gallons of fuel left in the tanks. According to initial reports, the sinking of the vessel does not represent an immediate threat to the surrounding ecosystem as the damage to the ship’s hull occurred far from the fuel tanks.
The ship owners are already making plans alongside the insurer to refloat the vessel, but have to first manage to empty the ship’s fuel tanks, as to avoid contaminating the surrounding region.