More than 20 rescued from capsized Galapagos Islands tour boat

 Image: Ecuadorian Navy
Image: Ecuadorian Navy
Image: Ecuadorian Navy
Image: Ecuadorian Navy

A tour boat carrying 14 passengers capsized and sank after it ran aground in the northern Galapagos Islands on Friday, May 31.

The 36-metre-long Galapagos Majestic suffered a hull breach and began listing to starboard after its bow struck a shoal off the north coast of Santiago Island at around 09:30 local time.

Salvage teams from the Ecuadorian Navy arrived at the scene within minutes to render assistance, but the tour boat capsized and sank six hours later despite the navy's efforts to keep it afloat.

All 26 of Galapagos Majestic's passengers and crew were rescued without injury.

The navy confirmed that no fuel spills were detected in the water even though the tour boat's fuel tanks still had over 700 litres of diesel remaining at the time of the sinking.

It is estimated that around 90 per cent of the vessel remains submerged.

Galapagos Majestic's owner is expected to have the vessel refloated. However, the navy states that the fuel remaining in the tanks must first be drained to minimise the risk of pollution during refloating.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World