To be buried at sea. That’s the likely fate laid out by the Director of the Galápagos National Park for the cargo ship Galapaface I, stranded on the rocks off San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos since May 9.
Dr. Arturo Izurieta, Park Director, told the Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio that the hull of the vessel would be temporarily patched with mattresses and metal plates, that it would be refloated using two huge metal buoys and then towed out of the Galápagos marine reserve and sunk into the reef.
“That will be the final resting place of the ship,” Izurieta told the newspaper.
Galapagos Digital was told by a second source that the ship would be scuttled but the newspaper report said a final decision has not yet been made.
Some of the supplies to be used by salvage crews arrived on San Cristóbal Wednesday aboard an Ecuadorian Air Force C-130 transport plane, according to a news release from the National Park. Among the items, a huge generator that will be used to power the ship’s crane to facilitate the unloading of the remaining cargo aboard the Galapaface I.
The park said that all 46 tanks of lubricating oil aboard the ship had been successfully removed along with perishable food items. The rotting food is being incinerated.
Officials estimate it could take as long as a month to complete the salvage effort at a cost of up to $6 million.