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Billionaire Paul Allen's Luxury Yacht Destroyed Coral Reef in the Caribbean


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Billionaire Paul Allen's Luxury Yacht Destroyed a Coral Reef in the Caribbean

By Reuters and VICE News

January 29, 2016 | 1:00 pm

A luxury yacht owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen destroyed most of a protected Cayman Islands coral reef, according to Reuters.

The islands' environment department said an anchor chain damaged roughly 14,000 square feet of reef, or about 80 percent of the protected area.

Allen's Seattle-based Vulcan Inc., which manages the billionaire's assets, said it was cooperating with an investigation and that the M/V Tatoosh was moored in a "position explicitly directed" by the local port authority at the time of incident.

"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," Vulcan said.

Just five months ago, Allen, who owns the NFL Seattle Seahawks and NBA Portland Trail Blazers, announced philanthropical support for research to stabilize and restore coral reefs.

Allen's 300-foot, five-deck Tatoosh is the 49th largest yacht in the world, and has twin helicopter landing pads, an observation lounge, and a gymnasium. Allen was not on board at the time of the incident, Vulcan said.

CNN reported that Allen could face a maximum fine of roughly $600,000, not counting civil damages.

According to Reuters, the Cayman News Service reported that the environment department will issue the results of its investigation next week. The service also said that shifting winds may have forced the yacht to drift toward the coral reserve.

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The Cayman Port Authority needs to get their act together. That's twice they've had big screw-ups like this in less than 6 months. If they lose all their reef, they'll lose all their tourism.

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