On Monday, November 2, firefighters received a call just before 11:00 in the morning reporting that a vessel in the Reykjavik harbor was sinking.
The vessel was a sand dredger called Perlan (The Pearl), built in 1979, and had been undergoing repairs on the dry dock. Supposedly in shipshape once again, it was on the water for less than a day before sinking. When emergency workers responded, half the ship was still visible, but within half an hour the entire craft was submerged.
Two crewmen were aboard the ship, but they were rescued in time by firefighters and no injuries were sustained. The cause of the incident is up for debate, although it is suspected that workers neglected to secure the ship’s hull shutters when they released it into the harbor, allowing for water to seep in.
Perlan currently rests at the bottom of the harbor, with its mast still rising out of the water. Police shut down the harbor temporarily after the incident for security reasons, and the area where the ship sank was demarcated with buoys. The city is taking precautions to prevent oil contamination from the vessel.
Divers were waiting for low tide yesterday in order to assess the level of damage and to determine how readily the vessel might be righted once again.