Academy Bay Diesel Spill Under Control

June 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last Thursday the yacht San Juan III was moving fuel from one buoy to another when an accident occurred.  The ship began to move sideways and while trying to stabilize overturned.  The boat sank just off Santa Cruz Island spilling 700 gallons of oil into Academy Bay.  Monday evening Mario Villalta, spokesman for the Galapagos National Park (GNP), said the leak was controlled. 

In a statement issued by the Port Authority, explained that despite the strong wind and current that sought to bring this fuel to the coast of Santa Cruz, it was established containment booms to contain it.  “We proceeded with the placement of absorbent pads and barriers, it also established a safe area for the boats that arrive and depart from Puerto Ayora,” the report said.

“It is expected that the ship is reloated in the coming days” he added.  he said it opened an investigation to determine what caused the accident that the spill of disel and that if the staff have the responsibility – the operator could be penalized by temporary or permanent suspension of the patate of tourism management.

The ship was not carrying any passengers at the time of the accident.  The owners have stated they will try to raise the boat in the next week to clean up the site and determine the cause of the accdient.

Santa Cruz Island is one of the central islands in Galapagos, Academy Bay is the main port servicing Santa Cruz and the Bay in front of the Islands’s largest town of Puerto Ayora. 

Oil spills are not uncommon in Galapagos in June of 2009 – 3000 gallons were leaked into the bay after one of the tourist yachts was towed in after an accident.  One of the largest accidents was in January of 2001 when the tanker Jesica ran aground off San Cristobal spilling over a million liters of oil into the sea and reportedly resulted in the death of some 15,000 Galapagos Marine Iguanas.

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