Portland Trail Blazers owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's 300-foot yacht is causing trouble in the Cayman Islands, The Guardian reported yesterday.
The MV Tatoosh, a 300ft yacht owned by the billionaire Allen, ripped up 14,000 square feet of coral reef in the West Bay replenishment zone, according to local officials. About 80% of the reef, situated in a protected area, was destroyed by the ship’s chain. It is thought that Allen was not on board at the time.
According to a statement from Allen’s investment firm Vulcan, the incident occurred on 14 January. “When [the MV Tatoosh] crew was alerted by a diver that her anchor chain may have impacted coral in the area, the crew promptly, and on their own accord, relocated their position to ensure the reef was protected,” it said, adding that the crew was aiding investigations into the damage.
The incident is particularly embarrassing for Allen given his foundation’s work supporting marine conservation and tackling overfishing.
Allen, who owns the Seattle Seahawks in addition to the Blazers, also owns two other yachts, including the 414-foot Octopus, which carries two helicopters and a 10-person submarine.