28 Jan 2016
Investigation into Cayman Islands reef damage
By Rory Jackson
Microsoft co-founder and ocean health enthusiast Paul Allen and his 92m motoryacht, Tatoosh, are currently under scrutiny for the apparent destruction of a protected reef in Cayman Islands. According to the Cayman Islands’ Department of Environment, it was the chain of Tatoosh’s anchor that wreaked havoc on the reef.
The Department of Environment claims that Tatoosh’s anchor destroyed a 14,000 square feet section of the reef, amounting to 80 per cent of the entire coral reef. However, the culpability of Allen or his crew is yet to be proven and the investigation is on going. Tatoosh’s crew are said to be cooperating fully with the necessary authorities.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment has said, “In addition to assessing the damage and determining the cause of this incident, we are also paying close attention to lessons learned so that we can more effectively prevent these accidents while hosting visiting yachts.”
Portion of damaged coral
In response to the accusation, Allen’s company, Vulcan, was quick to redirect the blame at the local Port State Authority stating:
“On January 14, 2016, M/Y Tatoosh was moored in a position explicitly directed by the local Port Authority. When its crew was alerted by a diver that her anchor chain may have impacted coral in the area, the crew promptly, and on their own accord, relocated their position to ensure the reef was protected.”
As yet there is no information confirming who was at fault and the investigation continues.
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