Caledonian Sky damaged coral reefs by entering an area that it should never have crossed at Rajat Ampat, a paradisiac archipelago of West Papua.
A British-owned cruise ship crashed into unique coral reefs in an isolated area of Indonesia with the world’s most varied ecosystems, scientists said on Tuesday.
he 4200-tonne Caledonian Sky liner struck reefs during the low tide near Kri, one of the 1500 islands of Raja Ampat , an archipelago of western Papua with heavenly scenery, popular for scuba diving.
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) March 12, 2017
13,500 square meters damaged
The ship, carrying 102 passengers and 79 crew members, was stuck on the reefs on 4 March. It was put back by a tug before continuing its cruise. The accident damaged some 13,500 square meters of coral reefs, which could cost over € 15 million, according to Ricardo Tapilatu, an oceanographic researcher at the University of Papua, who led a team that assessed the Damage.
This case has provoked strong criticism within the local tourism industry, highly dependent on the wonders of nature in Raja Ampat, which means the four kings in Indonesia. “How could this happen? Was it a 12-year-old who was in charge?” Wrote on his Facebook account Stay Raja Ampat, a website offering tourists homestays.
“A level never equaled”
“The damage caused by boat anchors like this one is already serious enough, but the blockage of a liner in the reefs reaches a level never equaled,” said the site. 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.
The ship, which sails between America and Asia, has entered an area that it should never have crossed because of the presence of unique coral reefs: “it is a very, very great loss for us “Said the director of the NGO Conservation International Indonesia, Victor Nikijuluw. For its part, the Indonesian government has indicated that it assessed the damage and would demand compensation from the boat operator, Noble Caledonia, based in Great Britain.