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May 9, 2014
The cargo ship Galapaface I ran aground after leaving Wreck Bay near the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal in the early hours of Friday, May 9, 2014. San Cristobal’s Emergency Operations Committee — which is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Environment through the Galapagos National Park Directorate, Ecuadorian Navy, Galapagos Governing Council, police and fire departments, and more — quickly developed an Action Plan to prevent and mitigate any environmental damage and free the ship from the rocks where it was stranded.
The ship was carrying approximately 10 tons of cargo and 19,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Technicians placed preventive spill containment booms and absorbent pads around the ship as fuel continues to be extracted onto a local fuel transport barge.
A coordinated effort is also taking place to unload the cargo and reduce the ship’s weight to help free it from the rocks, and several National Park boats are stationed around the Galapaface I to assist as needed and to monitor potential impacts. The Emergency Operations Committee has requested extra support from mainland Ecuador to help salvage the ship.
The immediate and effective implementation of the Emergency Operation Committee’s Action Plan has so far been a success, without any negative impacts on the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the surrounding ecosystem.
Translated with permission from the Galapagos National Park Directorate. Please contact Galapagos Conservancy with inquiries.