Temporary Restriction on Dive Sites after Anchor Damage

Temporary Restriction on Dive Sites after Anchor Damage

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands Issues Temporary Anchoring Restrictions

In a press release issued by the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands, anchoring or mooring any vessel in the vicinity of the damage caused by Paul Allen’s mega yacht Tatoosh is temporarily  prohibited. This includes Knife, and Marty’s Wall.

The statement in full reads:

In response to a request from the Department of Environment, the Director of Port Authority Cayman Islands has issued an immediate, temporary anchoring restriction for all vessels within 200 yards of the reef damage site located in the West Bay Replenishment Zone. Coordinates of the site are 19° 21.54’N and 081° 23.90W. The anchoring exclusion is enacted for the purpose of coral reef reconstruction work and a subsequent monitoring period. The public will be advised when the restriction is lifted. Any vessel wishing to access the site must apply to Port Authority, stating the name of the vessel, the date and time of their proposed visit, and the purpose of the visit.

According to Mr. Allen’s company Vulcan Inc, the DoE has yet to give full approval the the restoration plans put forward by the billionaire’s company on February 3rd. In a press release issued to Cayman 27, Vulcan Inc stressed that time is of the essence when it comes to salvaging the remaining live corals. See the full statement below.

Following the incident with M/V Tatoosh on January 14, 2016, Paul G. Allen and his representatives at Vulcan Inc. swiftly took steps to develop a remediation plan to assist in repairing the impacted portion of the reef. We took this step even though extensive past and recent damage to this same reef, as a result of other incidents that were not remediated, makes it difficult to determine what, if any, actual damage was caused by the Tatoosh.

 Mr. Allen and Vulcan retained experts in coral restoration who promptly traveled to Grand Cayman to assess and report on the situation, and on February 3rd, a remediation plan was provided to the Department of Environment. Mr. Allen and Vulcan asked the Department to consider the plan on an expedited basis in order to move swiftly to restore the reef. Anticipating an early approval of the plan, Vulcan dispatched experts to the Cayman Islands to be ready to begin work as soon as it was approved. Unfortunately, more than two weeks have passed and although we have responded promptly and collaboratively to every request from the Department on our plan, local officials have not yet given final approval to begin the work.

 On Tuesday of this week, our experts inspected the site and advised there should be no further delay. So once again, we recommended to the Department that our experts be allowed to undertake that work immediately. We also learned on Tuesday of this week that the Department of the Environment’s own experts had reached the same conclusion. We are therefore pleased to be able to announce that our experts and those of the Department spent yesterday and today working together at the site.

 We continue to impress on the Department the urgency of approving the full remediation plan so that work may continue. The department has yet to do so, despite the clear agreement between the experts on almost all technical aspects, and thereby delaying repair of the coral. We are ready and willing to continue the work of the last two days and are hopeful the remediation plan can now be promptly approved and implemented in the same spirit of collaboration and cooperation as was demonstrated over the past two days.

There is nothing more important than the pressing need to save and restore the damaged coral, and Paul Allen and Vulcan continue to stand ready to do our part. – Vulcan Inc.

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