Cayman Islands officials said the anchor belonged to Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen’s yacht, MV Tatoosh, damaged 80 percent of the coral in the West Bay protection zone. Divers are investigating the incident.
The MV Tatoosh is the 49th largest yacht in the world, according to BoatInternational.com. Described as “a model of understated luxury” in those big-yacht rankings, it is manned by a crew of 30 and has two helipads.
Cayman News Service reported that the yacht’s anchor chain destroyed close to 14,000 square feet — three-tenths of an acre — of the coral reef in question, or about 80 percent of it. Coral reefs are considered vital for marine life to flourish, and they help protect coastlines from big waves and tropical storms.
One of the few videos of the mega yacht is below:
Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. issued a statement to GeekWire: “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.”