US billionaire settles with Cayman Islands over reef damage
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) — A company owned by U.S. billionaire Paul Allen has settled with the Cayman Islands over damage to a coral reef blamed on his 300-foot yacht.
The government of the British territory and Allen’s Vulcan Inc. announced the settlement in a joint statement Monday that did not disclose the amount the co-founder of Microsoft had agreed to pay for remediation or the extent of damage to the reef in the Seven Mile Beach Park.
Environment Minister Wayne Panton said in a statement that the agreement with TDE Maritime, the owner of the yacht, “reflects a value commensurate with the loss of our public resource.”
Authorities previously said the anchor chain from the MV Tatoosh caused significant damage to the reef in January. Allen was not on board at the time. The statement released Monday says the settlement was made “without admissions” but says it will help create “a permanent mooring solution” in the park.
Allen, whose company began remediation work in March, said in the statement that the agreement would “help preserve the reefs and ecosystem for future generations.” A company spokesman declined to provide further details.