The effort to rescue corals and prevent further reef damage at the vessel grounding site between Guana and Fowl Cay has continued since the accident occurred 3 weeks ago. Volunteers from the EHCP, Dive Exuma, and the cruising community have saved literally hundreds of corals and removed a significant volume of loose rubble from the site in hopes of preventing more damage to the reef.
A exact count of the number of corals saved is pending, but a conservative estimate would be around 300. An estimated 1200+ lbs of rubble have been removed from the reef crest. Although, most of the bigger pieces of rubble were moved, there is a lot more that will need to be removed before the re-planting stage of the restoration can begin.
As this reef restoration project develops, it will be very important to acknowledge and address the reasons for navigational errors that lead to incidents like this in the heavily trafficked Elizabeth Harbour. In this case, unfamiliarity with the area and dependence on misleading chart software were the main causes of the accident, but other groundings in the harbour may be attributed to inadequate navigational aids.
A BIG THANK YOU to the volunteers that have joined the effort so far by donating resources or time including:
Tamara McGaw (Dive Exuma), Tori Walker (Exuma), Catherine Booker (EHCP), Howard Bethel (EHCP), Bob Cronin (Kevalli House), Craig Parotti (EHCP), Allen Mayers (s/v Nutmeg), Jeremy King (s/v Fernway), Austin Cohen (s/v Fernway), Erik and Joanne Mortenson (s/v Flying Free), Dan Baylinson (s/v Hakuna Matata), Erich Mueller and Laura Stockwell (s/v Alias), Jo Fettin (s/v Serenade), Skip Hind (s/v Eleanor M), Ed Eklof (m/v Margaret Lee), Jim Krest, Doug Daggett (s/v Viento), Jack, Sherry and Katie Hayden (s/v Taiga), Tazzie Dave (s/v Mist), Steve Elliot, Stratton Pollitzer (s/v Egret)