Authorities Announce Plan to Scuttle Galapaface I

Cargo Ship Galapaface I off Punta Carola on San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos

Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment

Cargo Ship Galapaface I off Punta Carola on San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos

If things go according to plan, residents of San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos will be saying “adiós” this week to the wrecked cargo ship Galapaface I, stuck on the rocks off Punta Carola since May 9.

In a news release, the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment and the Galápagos National park said that salvage crews had started installing and welding giant steel buoys onto the hull of the ship in order to stabilize and refloat it.

Map of Galápagos Marine Reserve

galapagos-travel-advisor.com

Map of Galápagos Marine Reserve

The tentative plan, according to the press release, is to raise the ship off the rocks on Wednesday and tow it to a point about 20 nautical miles east of the boundary of the Galápagos Marine Reserve, where it will be sunk to the ocean bottom. The Ministry of the Environment says that the impact on marine ecosystems will be “almost nil.”

To accomplish this, 16 crew members will be aboard the Galapaface I as it’s being towed to its final resting place.  Other vessels will be standing by to receive the crew before the Galapaface I is scuttled. According to the press release, the journey will take between 24 and 30 hours.

The Galápagos National Park plans to monitor the seafloor where the ship ran aground to determine if there has been any adverse impact on the environment. The monitoring is planned to last for two months.