News Worms
News Worms

Caledonian Sky cruise ship wrecks one of Indonesia's best coral reefs

Caledonian Sky cruise ship wrecks one of Indonesia's best coral reefs

Indonesia says it wants to take action after Captain Keith Michael Taylor smashed the Caledonian Sky cruise ship into pristine coral reef, dragging across it at Raja Ampat in Indonesia's West Papua province last week.

The 295-foot cruise ship, named Caledonian Sky, weighs about 4,200 tons and has 102 passengers aboard.

The ship had been grounded despite having Global Positioning System and radar instruments.

"The types of reefs that were damaged by the ship are Genus Porites, Acropora, Poicilopora, Tubastrea, Montipora, Stylopora, Favia and Pavites", said Ricardo Tapilatu, lead researchers of the investigation, in a report from The Jakarta Post.

Raja Ampat is a known national park and one of the world's most popular dive sites; therefore, compensation for the damages will cost $800 to $1,200 or an estimated total between $1.28m and $1.92m to be paid by Noble Caledonia. "Was it a 12-year-old who was in charge?" More damage was caused to the reef when a tugboat arrived to pull the ship away.

'Luxury megayachts pass through quite often. Now that the reef is badly damaged, locals are anxious that it will greatly impact the appeal of their island to tourists. This is just insane though'.

Caledonian Sky had set sail from Papau New Guinea on February 25 and was scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on March 14. "Anchor damage from ships like these is bad enough, but actually grounding a ship on a reef takes it to a whole new level".

The company is "firmly committed to protection of the environment - which is why it is imperative that the reasons for it are fully investigated, understood and any lessons learned incorporated in operating procedures", he said.

This cruise ship managed to get trapped at low tide in an area where it was not even supposed to be in the first place, and despite being equipped with radar and making use of a global positioning satellite.

The ship has since been refloated and the company said that based on the inspection "the hull was undamaged and remained intact". With its small vessels and company size, the line takes pains to distinguish itself from the big-ship lines that ply tropical waters around the world.

The value lost is beyond the destroyed reefs, but also the damaged ecosystem and the possible loss of livelihoods of local residents. The director of Raja Ampat's tourism agency, Yusdi Lamatenggo, confirmed the accident in the archipelago located at the edge of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

A 2002 report from Conservation International said it was home to almost 1,400 varieties of fish and 603 species of coral.


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