April 27, 2011
Having picked up on unconfirmed and very vague news (via local television) that a vessel in the Galapagos Islands got stranded off the coast of Isabela Island, I started to get my feelers out there.
As I keep my ears to the ground, I have managed to ascertain & confirm with the direct operator of this vessel (Eric) that indeed there was a minor incident that occurred off the coast of Isabela Island, causing the boat to get “stranded” (the actual Spanish term used was varado). All passengers and crew were efficiently and safely removed from the vessel without any incidents.
The boat will apparently be out of commission for approximately one month to make the necessary repairs.
Details on this particular boat [LINK]
- Galapagos Islands Tourist Boat ‘Eric’Gets Stranded
April 28th update (original Spanish article in El Universo)
“Galapagos boat ran aground with 31 people”
The tourist boat Eric, carrying 31 people on board, including 20 passengers and 11 crew, ran aground early yesterday morning in Punta Cordova, north of Santiago Island in the Galapagos archipelago.
Until the closure of this edition the ship remained trapped in a rocky area where it ran aground at 01:15, said Lt. Edwin Aguilar, in charge of the Port Captain of the island of Baltra, who said the incident caused no injuries .
The strandings took place because of “fatigue” of the crew, said Aguilar, as they did not realize what could occur in this rocky area.
But at the moment a final report is pending, said the official.
“At the moment we take steps in saving human lives”, citing Aguilar.
Passenger in hotel …
The 20 passengers on board were brought to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), where they were staying in an undisclosed hotel, whose name was not released by the officer.
Meanwhile, efforts to remove the ship, about 25 meters (length), were unsuccessful. During the day, the work of the Port Captain of Baltra and the National Directorate of Aquatic Areas (DIRNEA) focused on “lightening” the boat to get out of the site. This involves removing heavy objects such as furniture and other combustible materials. For this purpose, several barges are being used.
Towing the vessel pending …
At 18:00, Aguilar said they would wait until 23:00 to try to tow the boat, because at that time the tide would be high. “If not, between 10:00 and 11:00 tomorrow (today, April 28th),” quoted the officer.
According to sources, the boat (Eric) left Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) on Monday. A few hours before the grounding the boat sailed from the northern island of Genovesa in the direction of Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, east of Isabela Island.
Staff of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) also went into action at the site of the accident to realize a report of what happened. Meanwhile, relevant official authorities – which control the operation of tourism companies – realized that the registration of the ship is TN-00-00123.