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Billionaire's yacht causes extensive damage to coral reef

File photo: ESA/Wikimedia Commons

File photo: ESA/Wikimedia Commons


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 4:08 PM - An anchor chain on a 91-metre yacht owned by billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has destroyed close to 14,000 square feet (1,300 square metres) of coral reef in the Cayman Islands, local media reports.

The Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DoE) confirmed the damage following a survey of the waterbed.

According to the Cayman News Service, officials say more than 80 per cent of the coral in the area was damaged, some of it extensively. The DoE plans to publish a detailed report next week.

An investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances that led to the destruction of the coral.

The Cayman News Service cites a statement released by Allen's communication team, which suggests his yacht crew members followed instructions from the Port Authority on where to park the vessel.

Vessels that cause damage to local coral reefs can be subject to fines.

Allen's $160-million U.S. yacht, the MV Tatoosh, has a crew of 35, two helicopter pads and five decks. It is the world's 43rd largest superyacht.

SOURCE: Cayman News Service

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