The small cruise ship Galapagos Majestic (IMO 9695999) ran aground at Santiago island's northern coast, Galapagos Archipelago, at around 9:30 UTC on May 31, with 26 people onboard. Despite salvage attempts (lasting ~6 hours) the vessel capsized and sank, with some two tons of fuel onboard. No injuries were reported.
In the early morning of May 31, the bow of Galapagos Majestic touched bottom and moved north of Santiago island of Galapagos archipelago (Ecuador), that generated a waterway which hours later would make it list at 90º, to finally sink.
Fortunately, by then the 26 people onboard (14 cruisers, 2 guides and 10 crew) had managed to self-evacuate via the lifeboats. All were transferred to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island).
The Ecuadorian Navy was trying to keep the vessel shipwrecked afloat, worried about the 757 litres of diesel fuel on board, that could cause ecological damage in the highly sensitive area. After almost 6 hours of assistance with the hull sunk by 90%, these efforts were in vain and Galapagos Majestic ended up sinking.
According to the local authorities, "the shipwreck does not represent until now risks for the natural reserve and there is no danger of spillage or contamination since the fault was presented in the bow, far from the tanks".
Local media reported that the owners of the wrecked vessel, which is chartered by the US agency Explorer Ventures, were expected to refloat it through the insurer.
Similar voyages usually cover 4 to 8-day itineraries through the archipelago.
With 200 GT of gross tonnage, 36 meters of length, 3 decks for guests, 9 cabins, the capacity to accommodate up to 16 passengers that are served by 12 crew members, jacuzzi, and solarium, Galapagos Majestic, had started operating in Ecuador six years ago.