The ro-ro COYHAIQUE, known in Europe as BALDER VIK, BAZIAS 7, STENA TOPPER, SALAR, RIVER LUNE and HANSALAND, ran aground in Chile, where it was operating for Navimag Carga between Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt. This route is one of the World’s most scenic ferry routes.
COYHAIQUE was listing to port. All crew and passengers were evacuated, however a part of the cattle cargo died.
The Captain committed suicide.
The ship’s hull was breached, and its engine room flooded. Five days after the accident the vessel was towed to Puerto Laguna.
The ship was named after the capital of the Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo region, the least populated of Chile’s 15 regions. Lonely Planet describes the area like this: “Aysén is to outdoor enthusiasts what the Sistine Chapel is to art-lovers: a masterpiece worth the journey. This overlooked corner of Northern Patagonia juggles hanging glaciers, brooding fjords, lush rainforests and guanaco-filled steppes.”
For this region the ferry transportation is vital.