Yacht Belonging to Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Decimates Caribbean Coral Reef

February 2, 2016 | Johannes Van Zijl

Tropical coral reef

The billionaire's boat caused massive damage to the fragile ecosystem.

A $162 million yacht beloning to the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, ripped open 14 square feet of coral reef in the Caribbean last month.

The incident happened at the West Bay replenishment zone of the Cayman Islands on Thursday, January 14. According to sources, the yacht’s 300-foot anchor chain was left out after the yacht departed and eventually got dragged along the reef behind the yacht causing large-scale destruction of the coral below.

The Cayman Islands Department of the Environment confirmed that the luxury boat of Allen damaged more than 80 percent of the coral in the surrounding area.  Allen should be expected to receive a fine up to $600,000 for the incident — a minimal amount of his estimated $18 billion wealth.

SEE ALSO: World Wetland Day: Why Wetlands Are So Important

Vulcan, Allen’s investment firm, released an online statement regarding the incident:

“Vulcan Inc. and Paul G. Allen have a long history of responsible exploration and a commitment to ocean conservation.  

On January 14, 2016, M/V 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. Vulcan and the ship’s crew are actively and cooperatively working with local authorities to determine the details of what happened. An investigation by local authorities is ongoing.

Through his longtime philanthropic and scientific endeavors, Paul G. Allen is a global leader in supporting ocean health. Last year, he announced support for cutting-edge research designed to stabilize and restore coral reefs.”


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