After an intense search, two fishermen found who had been shipwrecked in the Galapagos

For almost 24 hours, they were lost at sea after their boat sank in the Pinzón Island sector

Yalilé Loaiza
July 14, 2021
From Quito

Ecuadorian Navy personnel rescued two castaways on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. 
(Photo: courtesy Armada del Ecuador).

Two fishermen were shipwrecked this Monday on Pinzón Island in the Galapagos archipelago in Ecuador. The search lasted 24 hours until the whereabouts of the fishermen was discovered. The joint search was performed by personnel from the Ecuadorian Navy, the Armed Forces, the Galapagos National Park Directorate, the Government Council of the Galapagos Special Regime and the Integrated Security Service ECU 911, in addition to the support of fellow fishermen from area.

The Colón Archipelago or Galapagos Archipelago is a constellation of large islands, small islands and islets that makes a search of this kind difficult.

La Pinzón , named after Martin Alonso Pinzón and Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, brothers and captains of La Pinta and La Niña, the two caravels that accompanied the Santa María on Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas, is an island located between the Isabela and Santa Cruz. It is home to endemic species and does not allow entry to tourists, unless expressly authorized by the environmental authorities of Ecuador .

The two castaways were found in a rocky area of ​​the island called Las Palmas and were immediately transported to the Pinzón heliport to assess their medical situation. The paramedics found slight signs of dehydration in the fishermen who suffered the sinking of their boat named the Brigitte.

The HN-411 helicopter of the Ecuadorian Navy carried out search and rescue operations in the vicinity of Pinzón Island and rescued 2 missing citizens who were fishing in a boat alive. (Photo: courtesy of the Ecuadorian Navy).

The last rescue operated occurred last October. Three crew members of an artisanal fishing boat called the Chandy were shipwrecked in the waters of Isabela Island. The Navy received the alert and mobilized the coast guard boats.

Fishing is the main economic activity in the archipelago after tourism; however, it has some restrictions. For example, sport fishing is prohibited, although experiential fishing is offered to tourists, which consists of assisting artisans in the fishing activity.

According to the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, around 50 families depend on artisanal activity in 17 boats with 3 fishermen per boat with a PARMA license, which is the official authorization that enables the exercise of fishing activity in the areas, with set conditions and seasons that indicated by public authorities.

Fishermen must report logs that include data such as: departures, sailors, origin, catches, species according to weight, size, fishing site and depth.

Currently, the marine reserve is made up of 40 nautical miles since 1998. Environmentalists, experts and artisanal fishermen have come together to ask that the marine reserve be doubled to 80 nautical miles. Its promoters assure that the expansion will protect the species from industrial fishing and protect the food sovereignty of the inhabitants of the islands. The main problems facing the islands are overfishing, illegal fishing, pollution and climate change.

Artisanal fishermen assure that their activity must begin during the early morning hours and that this prevents clearly looking at the plantados placed by industrial fishing for the monitoring of the species. This difficulty would prevent free navigation and could even cause unexpected collisions that could pierce the boats and cause them to sink.

The waters can push boats hundreds of nautical miles. This was the case of the Don Joffre boat that was found by the Ecuadorian relief authorities 338 nautical miles west of the Galapagos Islands after having set sail from Jaramijó in Manabí, in mainland Ecuador 17 days after the shipwreck, in July 2020.

Read the original coverage from InfoBae at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021


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