The financial settlement that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen paid to the Cayman Islands after his 91.44-metre (300-foot) superyacht MV Tatoosh damaged a protected coral reef in 2016 has been used to fund moorings for superyachts.
On 14th January 2016, Allen’s yacht MV Tatoosh reportedly dropped anchor on a coral reef off Seven Mile Beach. Grand Cayman’s Department of the Environment alleged that the yacht’s chain dragged through the coral and caused noticeable damage. In November 2016, Allen and the Cayman Islands government agreed an undisclosed financial settlement, which has since been invested in moorings to protect the reef from further damage in the future.
The Cayman Compass has now reported that the Department of the Environment has delivered the first of four moorings for yachts 30.48 metres (100 foot) or longer, placing it just off West Bay. The second will be situated in Grand Cayman, while two more will be located in the Sister Islands.
The Department of the Environment and West Indian Marine worked together to install the huge buoy, which involved transporting the 13.6 tonne anchor into the water, in a patch of sand 40 feet deep.
The giant buoys are a first in the Cayman Islands and will provide secure anchorage for superyachts.
Talking to the Cayman Compass, Department of the Environment deputy director Scott Slaybaugh said, “It is pretty enormous. This first one was a bit of a learning curve because we have never handled anything this big in shipping before.
“We thought it was an appropriate use of the funds from the Tatoosh settlement, to prevent this same type of issue happening again.”