Galapagos Incident Report: M/S Alta

Galapagos Islands – On the evening of March 17 at 7:20 pm the M/S Alta, owned and operated by Quasar Expeditions, struck a reef near Camaño Islet while trying to enter the Puerto Ayora harbor of Santa Cruz.  As of now the primary cause of the crash is attributed to a malfunctioning lighthouse, which when working marks the entrance to the harbor and marks the location of the islet.

There were 16 Canadians, 8 Ecuadorian crew members, and 1 Ecuadorian National Park Guide aboard, all of whom were safely removed from the vessel.

According to Quasar’s second official statement, on March 19th representatives from their insurance company arrived to assess the scene. After a failed attempt by a Coast Guard ship to pull the yacht free, the insurance company devised an alternative plan. The hull of the ship will be lifted from the rocks using special flotation devices. “These devices have to be brought from Panama, which means the yacht will not be pulled out of Camaño Islet for another couple of weeks.” Damage assessment will take place after the yacht is freed.

On March 20th all of the Alta’s fuel tanks were successfully emptied – no spill occurred during the grounding of the Alta nor in removing the fuel.

A full report by the Galapagos National Park will be issued once the yacht has been removed.