M/Y Elsa Begins Salvage after Grounding

28 March 2017 By Lauren Beck

Salvage efforts reportedly began today in Ladder Bay, Saba, for the 48-meter M/Y Elsa, who ran aground the evening of March 22. According to local news site Saba News, the vessel’s owners are cooperating with Public Entity Saba and the Saba Conservation Foundation to help salvage the vessel with minimal damage to both it and the surrounding area.

The local media confirmed that all guests and crew made it safely to shore and reports seem to suggest that the grounding could be attributed to a mooring buoy issue, but nothing has been confirmed. It was noted that the vessel’s diesel was spilling into the surrounding water. While it’s not known how much fuel was on board before the grounding, the vessel’s fuel capacity is 41,000 liters.

Saba News reports that all moorings will be re-inspected for stability and to check for damage, including an independent review of the current system to “confirm their suitability for open-water conditions and make recommendations for possible improvements, if necessary.” There are also plans to add more Marine Park Ranger patrols to assist with mooring.

This is the second grounding in almost the same location within the past few weeks — a French sailing yacht was salvaged in mid-March after its mooring line got caught under the bilge keel and rudder and chafed through.

UPDATE, 3/30/16

According to a press release by Public Entity Saba, salvagecompany Resolve pumped out all remaining fuel in the vessel’s tanks on Tuesdayand Wednesday. Any fuel-laden items from the vessel will be removed, and localand international parties are working together to refloat M/Y Elsa.

Just this morning, an independent environmental expert made afirst assessment regarding the fuel leak, claiming that the damage appearsminimal.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Photo: Guenter