January 28, 2015
At around 6:00 AM on Wednesday, the cargo ship Floreana ran aground in the bay of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, off the coast of San Cristóbal Island.
The ship arrived in San Cristóbal on Saturday, January 24th, with more than 1,900 tons of cargo — some of which was offloaded before preparing to sail on to Santa Cruz and other islands. It was at this time that it became stranded while carrying approximately 1,400 tons of cargo; much of it food and gas cylinders. The ship is also carrying 13,000 gallons of fuel.
Governor Jorge Torres activated the Emergency Operations Committee to adopt security measures to permit the removal of cargo and to begin an initial investigation to mitigate environmental risks.
This is the third ship that ran aground in Galapagos in the past year, including one which was stranded for more than a month in 2014.
March 11, 2015 update: nearly six weeks after the Floreana ran aground, salvage crews are still attempting to rid the ship’s hold of polluted water and garbage. The Galapagos Emergency Operations Committee (COE) has ordered the Floreana‘s owner to appoint a permanent legal representative in the Islands to properly administer the salvage process and attend to complaints from citizens of San Cristóbal, who have noticed a foul odor coming from the oceanfront near the area of the stranded ship. No environmental damage has been reported at this time.