Marine Salvage Operation, Galapagos
MV Galapaface I
MV Galapaface I aground in Punta Carola, Wreck Bay
MV Galapaface I on the rocks ready to be unloaded and refloated.
Sea Turtle, Galapagos
Responsibility : Tow Master
MV Galapaface I was refrigerated cargo ship weighing 1,183 gross tons, built in 1979, Ecuadorian flagged. At the time the ship was carrying cargo from Guayaquil, Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands.
On May 9, 2014, the vessel grounded on Punta Carola, Wreck Bay, near the entrance of the port of Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos Islands. Given the area's diverse ecology, it was imperative that the salvage operation be handled with the upmost precision to avoid further damage to environment. Intervention was swift to avoid a repeat of the 2001 disaster when the freighter, Jessica ran aground spilling 175,000 gallons of diesel and fuel oil.
The salvage operation included cleaning the vessel in preparation for scuttling, refloating the vessel from lava-rock reef, towing the vessel to a deep-water site outside the park boundaries, and finally allowing the vessel to sink 2,500 meters of water. After two months of working day and night nonstop, the operation was completed without incidents or accidents and without any damage to the environment.
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