Stranded ship in Galapagos Islands an 'emergency'

  • 16 May 2014
Map showing Galapagos Islands off Ecuador

Ecuador has declared an emergency in the Galapagos Islands after a cargo ship became stranded on sand and rocks there last week.

Galapaface I, which was carrying thousands of litres of diesel fuel, has had its cargo removed but authorities are worried that oil still on board could spill and cause environmental damage.

Now an emergency has been declared, the government will now help to remove the ship from the area before any further damage is done.

The Galapagos Islands lie off the coast of Ecuador in South America. The World Heritage Site is home to many unique animal species such as the giant tortoise and marine iguana.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Giant tortoises are native to the islands

2001 Accident

It's not the first time a ship has run into trouble in the Galapagos Islands.

Image copyright AP
Image caption This oil tanker spilled fuel in the area back in 2001

In 2001, an oil tanker became stranded, spilling fuel and causing severe damage to the marine iguanas that live there.