Removal of MV Sirena Commences

Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), executing agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, has contracted a salvage company to begin the removal of the MV Sirena wreck from the Northern tip of St Eustatius. Since August 2016, when the vessel ran aground, the MV Sirena has broken in two and shifted due to rough seas. This was of concern to the St Eustatius National Parks Foundation, STENAPA, who manage the marine protected area where the vessel is situated.


An attempt to refloat the vessel, in order to remove it for repairs in September, was unsuccessful because the ship took on water and partially sunk. Thereafter additional salvage attempts were abandoned and led to the vessel breaking in two and shifting. The wreck is situated near a very sensitive reef structure with many critically endangered hard coral, namely Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata).


STENAPA has been working closely with RWS on the environmental aspects of removing the wreck. The vessel was cleaned of all oil and fuel during the initial salvage work in August. Due to the partial submersion and breakage of the wreck debris landed in the water, which could cause damage to the sensitive marine environment in the area. STENAPA’s Marine Park team will inspect the site at various stages of the cleanup to ensure that the area is being properly cleaned and restored to its pre-incident condition. “We are familiar and experienced with this work as we were also involved with the inspections during the wreck of the “Penguin” years ago, said Marine Park manager Jessica Berkel.


Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands which includes the main road network, the main waterway network and water systems. They also are responsible for the waters in the Caribbean BES part of the kingdom. They are the issuing authority for any permits to place something permanent or otherwise in the waters.

The completion of the cleanup operation is scheduled for June 1st for the start of the hurricane season