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Water Foul – Paul Allen’s Yacht Destroys Coral Reef

Remember when Rodney Dangerfield screamed at Ted Knight in Caddyshack, “You scratched my anchor!!”?

Last month in the Cayman Islands, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen got the disappointing news that the anchor chain of his 300-foot yacht, M/V Tatoosh, destroyed more than 80 percent of the coral in the West Bay replenishment zone.

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Not good. Not good at all.

Initial estimates suggest that roughly 11,000 square feet of the underwater environment was obliterated with the maximum fine for the damage around $600,000 which, for a guy who’s worth $18.1 billion, shouldn’t keep Allen up at night. What might keep the billionaire from sleeping is the damage to the environment that he’s now linked to. The bitter irony here is that Allen is a staunch supporter of all things environmental – a global leader in supporting ocean health – and, earlier this year, he announced support for cutting-edge research designed to stabilize and restore coral reefs.”

The violation could also mean “up to four years in prison and confiscation” of the yacht, Timothy Austin, deputy director of research at the Department of Environment, told the New York Post.

Allen’s camp has a different view as to how things happened the way they did, “M/V Tatoosh was moored in a position explicitly directed by the local Port Authority,” Vulcan, Allen’s firm, said in a statement posted online. “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.”

To be continued…