Grounded Cargo Ship to Be Scuttled Off Galápagos Islands

The MV Floreana aground  in the bay of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno off the coast of San Cristóbal. Photo courtesy COE
The MV Floreana aground in the bay of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno off the coast of San Cristóbal. Photo courtesy COE

An Ecuador-flagged cargo ship which ran aground last week in the Galápagos Islands will be towed out to sea and scuttled, according to government officials in the Galápagos.

The MV Floreana ran aground last Wednesday morning (January 28) in the bay of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno located off the coast of San Cristóbal, the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago. The vessel was carrying approximately 1,400 tons of cargo and about 13,000 gallons of fuel when it became stranded shortly after departing San Cristóbal for Santa Cruz and other islands, the Galápagos Conservancy reports.

The U.S.-based salvage firm T & T Salvage has been appointed by the owners to carry out the salvage.

According to the latest update from El Comité de Operaciones de Emergencias de Galápagos (COE) issued February 1, approximately 800 tons of cargo – including cement, beer, iron and perishable products – remains onboard the vessel. The removal of cargo and other contaminants is expected to continue over the next two weeks, at which point the vessel will be towed out to sea and scuttled off the Galápagos Marine Reserve.

The MV Floreana is the third ship to run aground in  the Galápagos in the last 12 months, including one which was stranded for more than a month in 2014, the Galápagos Conservancy reports.